Skip to main content

Full text of "A colonial officer and his times, 1754-1773 : a biographical sketch of Gen. Hugh Waddell, of North Carolina : with notices of the French and Indian War in the southern colonies, the resistance to the Stamp Act in North Carolina, ... the Regulators' War, and an historical sketch of the former town of Brunswick, on the Cape Fear River"

See other formats

1754 - A Colonial Officer - 1773 

: — ^AND- 

His Times 

Alfred Moore Waddell 











Form No. A- 368 




-^ 7 

This book is due on the last date stamped 
below unless recalled sooner. It may be 
renewed only once and must be brought to 












Edwards & Broughton, Publishers. 


Copyright 1885 by A. M. Waddell. 

4 £-L^-t .f^lirtr^i^' 


--fer-/^^<^^ ^ ^'-"^ '^ 

/^ 4 J:^ 







[From Gov. Tryon's Letter-Book.] 

No. 59. 

Lord HilLvSborough : 

NewbERN, 28th January, 1771. 

The death of Mr. Heron and Mr. Eustace 
McCulloh's resignation of his seat in Council, 
making two vacancies in his Majest3^'s Coun- 
cil of this Province, I take the liberty to recom- 
mend for the King's nomination the three* 
following gentlemen as properly qualified to 
sit at that Board, viz : Colonel Hugh Waddell, 
Mr. Marmaduke Jones, and Sir Nathaniel 

Colonel Waddell had the honor to see 3-our 
Lordship about two years since in Kngland. 
He honorabl}^ distinguished himself last war 
while he commanded the provincials of this 
Province against the Cherokee Indians, pos- 
sesses an easy fortune, and is in much esteem 
as a gentleman of honor and spirit. '•' '•' '•' 

*NoTE BY THE Author. — In all cases of vacancy in the 
Council, three names were forwarded from which a selection 
was made. 


To any one in possession of material, how- 
ever small, which, if published, would prove to 
be of historical value, the exhortation of Car- 
lyle, "Were it but the infinitessimalest frac- 
tion of a product, produce it," nia}^ well be 
addressed; and to none with more propriety 
than to a North Carolinian. The meagreness 
of the early public records of North Carolina, 
and the carelessness with which the history of 
the State has been written, have long been 
complained of b}- the historians of the United 
States, and have caused almost every notable 
and creditable event in that history' to be 
doubted or denied. Nor has this neglect been 
remedied by biographical literature, for — ex- 
cepting McRee's "Life and Correspondence of 
James Iredell," Caruthers's "Life of Cald- 
well," and Hubbard's " Life of General Wil- 
liam R. Davie" — no volume aspiring to the 
title of a biography has ever been published of 
a North Carolinian, as such. The lives of 


some natives of the State — the three Presidents^ 
Jackson, Polk and Johnson, for example — have 
been written, but these lives were passed out 
of the State, and were not identified with her 
history. We are almost as destitute of that 
sort of literature concerning our distinguished 
dead as we are of statues or monuments to 
their memor3^ The volumes of Colonial 
Records, recently obtained in England under 
an Act of the General Assembly, and now 
being published under the intelligent super- 
vision of Secretary of State Saunders, will 
supply the long-desired material, and will, 
doubtless, stimulate some student to the patri- 
otic task of writing a history which will be 
worthy of the State. 

This little book, which is intended for North 
Carolina readers, and cannot be expected to 
have much circulation beyond tlie limits of the 
State, is accurate, if nothing else; and, while 
purporting to be merely a very imperfect 
biographical sketch of General Hugh Waddell, 
gives some information in regard to men and 


events in the Colony between the years 1754 
and 1773 which is not familiar to most readers. 

A sense of duty, stimulated by the expres- 
sions of regret in which several writers have 
indulged, that no sketch of General Waddell 
had ever appeared, prompted me to undertake 
it, notwithstanding the difficulties to be en- 

There was ample material for his biography 
in his letters, papers, and official correspond- 
ence, which had been carefully preserved by 
his son, and which would have thrown light 
on the events occurring in the Province and 
elsewhere during the interesting period in 
which he lived, but the very means adopted 
to give value to this material resulted in a total 
loss of it. His son loaned it to Dr. Hugh 
Williamson, who had been a member of Con- 
gress before, at the time of, and subsequent to 
the adoption of the Federal Constitution, and 
who was then (about the year 1800) writing a 
history of North Carolina in New York ; but 
although the most strenuous efforts were made 
to recover the papers after Dr. Williamson's 


death in 1819, they could not be found, and all 
trace of them was lost. He not only failed to 
preserve and return them, as he promised to 
do, but made very little use of them in his two 
queer and unsatisfactor}' volumes. 

Dr. Williamson, although a man of culture 
and integrity, was ver}^ careless and eccentric, 
as his whole career proves, and while his his- 
tory contains some facts not elsewhere to be 
found, and is marked in some passages by 
vigor and elegance of style, he betrays his 
Keltic origin in the climax, and concludes his 
work by a long, elaborate, and utterly irrele- 
vant dissertation on fevers. 

Alfred Moore Waddell. 

Wilmington, N. C, 
January, 18.S9. 



Preface 5 

lutroductory 11 

Letter of Tryou to Lord Hillsborough 4 



Born in Ireland — His Father's Duel and Flight to America — 
Arrival of Young Waddell in America — Enters Military 
Service as Lieutenant in 1754 — Makes Treaties with Indians 
and Builds Fort Dobbs — Military Service from 1754 to 
1758 —A Vindication of Colonel James Innes and the North 
Carolina Troops in the Campaign of 1754 25 


1758— 1764. 

Forbes's Expedition to F'ort Du Quesne — Major Waddell Com- 
mands the North Carolina Troops — Sergeant John Rogers — 
Return of North Carolina Troops and Expedition Against 
the Cherokees — Waddell Promoted to Colonelcy — Peace 
Declared — End of Dobbs's Administration — Notice of the 
Dobbs Family 55 



Tryon Becomes Governor — His Character and Conduct — The 
Stamp Act — Arrival of Sloop of War Diligence at Bruns- 
wick — Colonel W^addell, with Colonel Ashe and others, 
Resists the Landing of the Stamps 73 



1768 — 1771. 

The Regulators' War — Its Origin and History — General Wad- 
dell's Connection with it 130 


The Social Life of the Colony— Marriage of General Waddell— 
His Civil Services — Family — Death — Will — Conclusion of 
Biography 181 


Historical Sketch of Former Town of Brunswick 204 

Appendix 235 


The American Colonies in the Early Part of the Eighteenth 
Century— Their Trade, Population and Government— The 
French War — Settlements in North Carolina — Condition 
of the Province at the Beginning of Dobbs's Administra- 
tion in 1754. 

The contest between European powers for 
supremacy iu America, which began with the 
first settlements in the country, did not assume 
serious proportions until towards the middle 
of the eighteenth centurj^, when the increasing 
trade and population of the New World and the 
vast possibilities which its future promised, 
attracted the attention and excited the cupidity 
of those powers. In the year 1755, the strug- 
gle between France and England, which, 
because of the exhaustion of both parties, had 
temporarily ceased with the Treat\^ of Peace 
at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748, was renewed b}^ 
France with increased vigor, not only in 
Europe, but also in India and America. On 
this continent she claimed the valleys of the 
St. Lawrence and the Mississippi, and under- 
took to hem in all the English settlements by 
a series of fortifications, and to den\' to the 
settlers the right to cross the Alleghany Moun- 
tians. In pursuance of her purpose, after 


securing the Northern frontier by a chain of 
posts extending from Canada along the lakes 
and rivers to the back of those settlements, 
she had, as early as the month of January, 
1753, seized an English truck-house in the 
Twigtwees nation, and carried the traders as 
prisoners to Canada ; and in the latter, part of 
that year she built Fort Du Quesne on the 
Ohio, and erected another fortification on the 
headwaters of the Alabama river — meantime 
practicing the shrewdest diplomacy in concili- 
ating and making treaties with all the Indian 
tribes from Canada to Louisiana. A new life 
seemed to be infused into the administration 
of French interests at home and abroad, while 
the condition of England was, for once in her 
history, well-nigh pitiable. Imbecility marked 
her counsels, and disaster followed her arms. 
After the miserable failure of Braddock's expe- 
dition against Fort Du Quesne in 1755, which 
even the butchery in w^hich it ended could 
scarcely save from universal ridicule, and at 
the close of the year, when the alliance between 
England and Prussia was made, there were, 
according to a reliable authorit}^,'-' but three 

*Newcastle's "preparations for the great struggle before 
him may be guessed, from the fact that there were but three 
regiments fit for service in England at the beginning of 1756.'' 
Green's Short History, page 716. 

ixTRonrcTORv. 13 

regiments fit for service in England. The 
following two years, the first of the Seven 
Years' War — than which " no war has had 
greater resnlts on the history of the world, or 
bronght greater triumphs to England" — were 
so freighted with disaster to her that universal 
gloom and despondenc}- prevailed. She was 
humiliated by Admiral Byng's defeat by Ad- 
miral Galissoniere in the Mediterranean, by 
the shameful retreat of the Duke of Cumber- 
land with an army of fift}- thousand men before 
a French force on the Weser, and his agree- 
ment by the Convention of Closter-Seven to 
disband his forces, and b}^ similar events else- 
where, until "even the impassive Chesterfield," 
says the authority above quoted, cried in despair, 
"We are no longer a nation." 

It was at this critical period that the genius 
of the greatest of English statesmen, William 
Pitt, asserted itself, and immediately a series 
of the most splendid triumphs in English his- 
tory began. Frederick the Great said, "Eng- 
land has been a long time in labor, but she 
has at last brought forth a man." Well might 
he say it, for Pitt was his mainstay through 
all his struggles, and the support he gave to 


Prussia led to the creation of the German Em- 
pire of to-day, just as his breaking down of 
the barriers which the French sought to estab- 
lish in America laid the foundation of the 
United States. In this way Pitt had, indeed, 
^'unconsciousl}' changed the histor}^ of the 

Previous to this time the American Colonies, 
in the South especiall}-, had suffered from 
Indian wars, from pirates, and from the Span- 
iards, who often threatened and sometimes 
attacked the coast towns. 

For a century Spain had maintained a sickly 
show of authority in Florida, where she had 
erected one or two forts which were occupied 
by a small force, but had made no attempt at 
any further occupation of the territory, or 
development of its resources. 

The jurisdiction over the West Indies was 
divided. France held Canada, Acadia (or 
Nova Scotia) and Louisiana. In the two first 
named the population was, in 1754, about 
seventy thousand, and in the latter territory 
about ten thousand. The English held the 
territory on the Atlantic seaboard from Canada 
to Georgia, and numbered at the same time 
about one million one hundred and sixty thou- 


sand.'-"' The}' afterwards acquired Canada and 
Nova Scotia. 

The governments in the English Colonies 
differed in name more than in character. Some 
were called Provincial, some Proprietary, and 
some Charter governments, but all were ulti- 
mately accountable to the Crown. These 
Colonies soon became very valuable as sources 
of revenue to Great Britain. 

Before the middle of the century they were 
consuming about one-fifth of the woollen manu- 
factures of the mother country — which consti- 
tuted at that time her chief staple — and more 
than twice the value of these woollens in linen 
and calico, while the consumption of silk, 
furniture, trinkets, and East India goods was 
large. (In this connection it may be of inter- 
est to state that as earl 3^ as 17 16, according to 
a memorial of Mr. Beresford to the Commis- 
sioners of Trade and Plantations, silk culture 
had been tried in South Carolina, and the 
product had been sent to London where it was 
manufactured, "and proves to be of extraordi- 
nar}' substance and lustre.") They sent her 
valuable cargoes, especially of tobacco, which 
increased her shipping, gave employment to 

*Montcahn and Wolfe, by Francis Parkman. Vol. I, page 20, 



her people, and aided materially in keeping 
the balance of trade in her favor as against 
Holland, Portugal and Spain. Except as a 
barrier against the French in Canada, the 
acquisition of Nova Scotia was not a valuable 
one to England, as the products of that terri- 
tory did not add to the resources of the latter, 
like those of the other Colonies. 

Massachusetts did a larger and a more varied 
trade than any of them, and was the only 
Colony in which manufactures were carried 
on to any extent. The other Northern Colo- 
nies exported, principall}^, lumber, fish, live 
stock, and some naval stores, while the South- 
ern Colonies shipped tobacco, rice, beef, pork, 
provisions, naval stores and lumber — the last 
named product going, as did the lumber and 
live stock of the Northern Colonies, chiefly to 
the West Indies. In Mr. Beresford's " IMe- 
morial," above alluded to, occurs the following: 
"There are also great quantities of cedar and 
cypress, far exceeding any Norway deals, being 
free from knots, of curious white color, great 
lengths, proper for flooring of the most mag- 
nificent buildings. The cedar for some uses 
far exceeds any other sort of wood, and, at the 
request of some noblemen and gentlemen of 
this nation, hath been brought into this king- 


dom, but the importers being obliged to payr 
duty for it as szveet ivood, amounts to a pro- 
hibition." (The italics are not Mr. Beresford's.) 

Outside of New England — where almost 
from the first settlement it had been enacted 
that ''ever}^ township, after the Lord hath 
increased them to the number of fifty house- 
holders, shall appoint one to teach all children 
to write and read; and when any town shall 
increase to the number of a hundred families, 
they shall set up a grammar school" — there 
were very few schools in the country, even of 
the most elementary kind, and not a half dozen 
newspapers. The wealthier class sent their 
sons to England to be educated, while the 
poorer were either destitute of knowledge, or 
possessed onl}- such as could be obtained at 
their own firesides. Agriculture, trade — which 
was largely in the form of barter — and fighting 
the Indians, occupied the attention of the peo- 
ple — of the Southern Colonies especiall}^ — 
almost exclusivel3\ 

In the Province of North Carolina the Pro- 
prietary Government, which was established 
in 1663, ended in 1728 when the Crown pur- 
chased the interest of seven of the eight Pro- 
prietors — Lord Carteret retaining his share — 
and on the 2d July, 1.752, when Georgia was 


surrendered by her Trustees to the King, there 
were onl^- two Proprietary Governments left 
in the country, viz., Maryland and Penns3'l- 
vania, and some of the Roj^al Governors were 
anxious to see these surrendered.''' 

All the Southern Colonies were in a defence- 
less condition, both as to their Western frontiers 
and their sea-ports. The two Carolinas — 
which were iioniinaUv separated in September, 
1720, when Sir Francis Nicholson was com- 
missioned 7-oyaI Governor of South Carolina, 
although no boundary line had then been even 
commenced between them — and the Province 
of Georgia were exposed to attacks from the 
French and Indians of the Mississippi river 
settlements, who, before 1735, had built what 
was called the Alabama fort in the Creek 
nation, and had fully garrisoned and mounted 
it with fourteen pieces of artillery, and later 
had attempted to build another fort nearer 
these English settlements. 

The Creeks were quite numerous and were 
among the most formidable of the tribes of the 
South, as were also the Choctaws and Chicka- 
saws. The Cherokees, Catawbas, and other 
tribes occupied the territory between them and 

*Dinwiddie Papers. Vol. II, page 273. 


the English settlements, and were not so war- 
like in disposition, although as cunning and 
merciless when roused. 

In Florida the Spaniards had now several 
strone o-arrisons, the chief of which was St. 
Augustine, and they controlled the Indians of 
that territory. 

While they claimed jurisdiction over a much 
larger area than was in their actual possession, 
the}^ were not as active and enterprising in 
pushing their claims, and in making alliances 
with the Indians as the French, who, after the 
Mississippi Company surrendered their coun- 
try to the French King, migrated from Canada 
in considerable numbers to the valley of that 
river, and acquired complete control of all the 
Indians in that region. 

In 1 74 1 an expedition was fitted out against 
the Spaniards at Carthagena, on the coast of 
New Grenada, near the Isthmus of Darien, to 
which North Carolina contributed a force, 
under Captain James Innes, but, after a siege 
which proved unsuccessful, the forces were 
re-embarked on Admiral Vernon's fleet and 
returned. In retaliation the Spaniards, several 
years after, made forays along the coast, attack- 
ing different places, and amongst others the 
town of Brunswick on the Cape Fear river, 
eighteen miles below Wilmington. 


The population of these Provinces was sparse, 
and scattered chiefly along the coast belt, but 
notwithstanding the serious injury to their 
prosperity which external foes thus inflicted, 
and the additional embarrassments caused by 
the corrupt and ineflicient government from 
which some of them suffered, there was a steady 
increase of population and trade. 

In North Carolina, during the administra- 
tion of Governor Gabriel Johnston, who, at the 
time of his death in 1752, had been Governor 
for eighteen years, the white population had 
increased more than three-fold, and at the date 
above mentioned had reached fort3^-five thou- 
sand. The exports for the 3'ear 1752 were 
three thousand and three hundred barrels of 
pork and beef, seven hundred and sixt3^-two 
thousand staves, sixty-one thousand five hun- 
dred and eighty bushels of corn, one hundred 
hogsheads of tobacco, sixty-one thousand five 
hundred and twenty-eight barrels of tar, twelve 
thousand and fifty-five barrels of pitch, ten 
thousand four hundred and twent3^-nine bar- 
rels of turpentine, and thirt3'-thousand pounds 
of deer-skins, besides an unknown quantit3^ of 
wheat, rice, potatoes, bacon, lard, indigo, tanned 
leather, lumber and other articles.''' 

*Martin. Vol. II, 59. Seeposi., Ch. VI, 217. 


The currency, tliat perpetual source of 
trouble, had, during- the same period, steadily 
risen towards its proper value.''' Immigration 
had set in from Scotland, Ireland and Ger- 
many, and from Pennsylvania and Virginia; 
and these settlers had located themselves from 
the coast to that part of the country of the 
Cherokees and Catawbas east of the Bhie 
Ridge. Neill McNeill brought five or six 
hundred Scotch colonists, landing in Wil- 
mington in 1749, and settling in Bladen, 
Cumberland and Anson ; and again in 1754, 
and annually thereafter, additions were re- 
ceived to this Colou}^ from Scotland. In 1753 
the Moravians, known as the Uuitas Fratntm^ 
made their settlement between the Dan and 
Yadkin, and the emigration from the North of 
Ireland to Pennsylvania, and thence to North 
Carolina, as well as directl}' to the latter, was 
active about the same time. 

Although a boundar^^ line had been com- 
menced between North and South Carolina — 
as had been done in 1727 between Virginia 
and North Carolina, and had extended to a 
point on the Pee Dee river, which was extended 
a few miles further in 1764, the territory' west 

*Williamson. Vol. II, page 55. 


of tlie Pee Dee was for many years debatable 
ground so far as jurisdiction was concerned^ 
although it really belonged to the Catawba and 
Cherokee Indians. These Catawbas and Chero- 
kees were not hostile to the English settlers 
until tampered with by the French, but were 
rather friendly disposed to them. 

About the beginning of Dobbs's administra- 
tion in 1754, however, after the French had 
built Fort Du Ouesne, and scattered their 
emissaries among them, they began to cause 
apprehension to the settlers on the Western 
frontiers. In the same year an attempted 
settlement in that part of the territory beyond 
the Blue Ridge — which was called in 1776, the 
District of Washington, in 17S4 the State of 
Franklin, aud, iinall}', in 1796 the State of 
Tennessee, was defeated aud the settlers were 
driven out. In 1756, Fort Loudon, named for 
the new British commander-in-chief, the Earl 
of Loudon, was built about thirty miles from 
the present city of Knoxville, and a small per- 
manent settlement w^as made, zvliich was the 
first Aui^lo-Amcricwi settlement zvest 0/ the 
Alleghanies and south of Penusylvania. 

The Earl of Loudon had not been able, for 
several reasons, to accomplish much, and he 
was succeeded in the command of the British 


forces by General Abercrombie, who began 
and prosecnted a vigorons campaign against 
the French. He was repnlsed at Ticonderoga 
bnt captured Cape Breton and afterwards Fort 
Frontenac. i\t the latter place the great loss 
of ammunition and provisions which the French 
had accumulated there for use on the Ohio, 
caused the abandonment of Fort Du Ouesne 
when Forbes's expedition approached that 
stronghold in 1758, and the communication 
between their Southern settlements and Canada 
being thus destroj^ed, their power on this con- 
tinent was broken. But, although North Caro- 
lina had contributed to the expulsion of the 
French from Fort Du Quesne, it was onl^' to 
aggravate her own troubles, for it resulted in 
transferring French influence and intrigue to 
the Cherokees on her Western border and 
kindling anew their animosit}^ which had been 
quieted by treaties and acts of conciliation. 
The result was a series of outbreaks which 
lasted for more than two years, and which did 
not leave the settlers in North Carolina in a 
state of absolute security until the treaty of 
peace between France and England was made 
in 1763. Very soon after that event, in 1765, 
the first rumble of the earthquake which was 
to rend the British Empire and separate for- 


ever the Colonies from the mother countr}', 
was heard in the passage of the Stamp Act; 
and ten 3^ears later the great convnlsion 
occurred which established American Inde- 

The subject of the following sketch was, 
from 1755 to 1773, the most conspicuous mili- 
tar}^ figure in the Province of North Carolina, 
but although mentioned as such in all the 
histories, no connected account of his life and 
public services has ever been written. 


■ 1754-1757. 

Born ill Ireland— His Father's Duel and Flight to America- 
Arrival of young Waddell in North Carolina— Enters the 
Military Service as Lieutenant in 1754— Makes Treaties 
with Indians and Builds Fort Dobbs— Military Services 
from 1754 to 1758 — A Vindication of Colonel James Innes. 
and the North Carolina Troops. 

HUGH WADDELL was born in Lisbnrn, 
Connty Down, Ireland. The exact date 
of his birth is nnknown, but, as it appears from 
a memorandum written by his son, and from 
a newspaper account of his death, that he was 
in his 39th year when he died, April 9th, 1773, 
he must have been born in the year 1734 or 
early in 1735. He was the son of Hugh Wad- 
dell and Isabella Brown, and his ancestors 
were among the Scotch emigrants who, in 
the previous century, had gone over in large 
numbers and settled in the North of Ireland, 
and whose descendants in this country were 
called Scotch-Irish. The celebrated ''blind 
preacher" of Virginia, James Waddell, who 
was pronounced by Patrick Henry to be the 


26 A Colonial Officer 

most eloquent man he ever heard, came with 
his parents to America from the North of Ire- 
land not long before General Waddell came, 
and is believed to have been his near relative. 
A highly respected family of the same name 
are now residing at Lisbnrn. 

General Waddell's father, who was a choleric 
Irish gentleman, about the year 1742 engaged 
in a short-sword impromptu duel with another 
gentleman of like accommodating spirit and 
killed him; and such events having at that 
time become so scandalously common in that 
country as to have caused the severest enact- 
ments against the survivor, the duelist, after 
sending for a counsellor and mortgaging (as 
he supposed) all his property to him, took his 
little boy, then seven or eight years old, and 
escaped to America, going to Boston. 

Remaining there for several years, and until 
the duelling affair was pardoned or forgotten, 
and in the meantime providing for the educa- 
tion of his son, he returned with him to Ireland, 
only to discover that the counsellor was dead 
and that the estate, supposed to have been 
mortgaged, had been conveyed absolutely and 
had passed into other hands. The authority 
for these facts, which is a family tradition, 
further says that the counsellor was a relative 

And His TniKvS. 27 

of the too confiding duelist, and that the latter 
was so utterly humiliated and overwhelmed by 
the double catastrophe that he took to his bed 
and died. There is an Irish flavor about the 
tradition which gives it the stamp of truth. 

Among the friends of the elder Waddell in 
Ireland was Arthur Dobbs, a man of consid- 
erable culture, who had been a member of the 
Irish Parliament, and who, in 1741, had sug- 
gested the expedition to discover a " northwest 
passage," which Captain Tvliddleton undertook 
the next year. Partly because of his supposed 
enterprising spirit, but chiefly, probably, be- 
cause of his super-serviceable loyalty to the 
reigning family and his extravagant notions 
of the kingly prerogative, Dobbs was, in 1753, 
appointed Governor of North Carolina, and 
qualified by taking the oaths of oflice at Newbern 
on the first day of November, 1754. Whether 
he had been in the Province previous to his 
appointment as Governor, or not, does not 
appear, but he had, as early as January 14th, 
1735, received from Governor Gabriel Johnston 
a grant for 6,000 acres on the " Largest Branch 
of Black River," in Dupplin=' County (com- 
monly spelled Duplin), and had purchased 
lands in Anson County from McCuUoch. 

*So named in honor of Lord Dupplin. 

28 A Colonial Officer 

Before Governor Dobbs came over to assume 
his office, young Waddell had arrived in the 
Province, having, doubtless, been sent in 
advance, and arriving in 1753 or early in 1754. 
He was a Lieutenant in Colonel James Innes' 
regiment which went to Virginia in the spring 
of 1754 — a full account of which will presently 
be given — and was made a Captain there/-' This 
was during the administration of Matthew 
Rowan, President of the Council, who was 
acting Governor until the arrival of Dobbs, 
and was the first appearance of Waddell in the 
history of the Province.f 

At the time Dobbs was appointed Governor, 
the Province was in a condition requiring more 
than ordinary ability in the Executive, and 
this ability the aged Governor sadl}^ lacked. 
When the Legislature assembled, six weeks 
after his qualification, at Newbern, his first 
recommendation to the body was to fix a per- 
manent and adequate revenue on the Crown to 

*Governor Dobbs to the Board of Trade. Col. Rec, vol. V, 
279; Dinwiddie Papers, vol. I, 367. 

tHis first civil service was rendered after his return from that 
expedition, when he was appointed and served for several 
months as Clerk of the Council, and this writer has two of the 
original orders of the Council in his handwriting and with his 
signature attached, dated respectively December loth, 1754, 
and January loth, 1755, which are in a good state of preserva- 

And HIvS Times. 29 

meet the expenses of government, and the 
next was to provide a proper salary for the 
Governor. The latter suggestion did not seem 
to excite much enthusiasm among the mem- 
bers of the Legislature, as no notice was taken 
of it ; but they promptly voted eight thousand 
pounds for the defence of the Province, laid 
tonnage duties, payable in powder and lead, 
allowed bounties for facilitating enlistments, 
and considered and acted upon such other recom- 
mendations of the Governor as they deemed 
important, especially the reorganization of 
the Court system for the better prevention 
of crimes, one of which — the counterfeiting of 
bills of credit — had become an alarming evil. 
But, although Dobbs was not fully equal to 
all the requirements of his position, especially 
in some matters of civil administration, he was 
prompt and earnest in his efforts to render the 
Crown all the assistance in his power in the 
war with the French. 

Early in April, 1755, in answer to the request 
of the ill-fated Braddock, who had, not long 
before, arrived with his fine English troops at 
Williamsburg, Va., he met some of the other 
Governors of the Provinces at Alexandria, 
where the three celebrated expeditions against 
Fort Du Quesne, Frontenac and Crown Point 

30 A Colonial Officer 

were agreed upon, neither of which was suc- 
cessful, but the last named of which inspired 
Dr. Shackburg to compose the tune of Yankee 
Doodle. '=' After his return from the meeting 
of the Governors, and during the summer, 
Governor Dobbs visited the Western frontier 
of North Carolina — as the region around Salis- 
bury was then called — to select sites for the 
erection of fortifications, and also made a tour 
along the seacoast to ascertain where he could 
erect additional forts to those then completed, 
or in process of completion, at the mouth of 
the Cape Fear River, at Topsail Inlet, at Bear 
Inlet and at Ocracoke.f Upon his return, and 
at the meeting of the Legislature at Newbern 
on the 25th September, he set forth the condi- 
tion of the Province, the increasing danger of 
French supremacy over all the territory w^est 
of the Alleghanies from Canada to Louisiana, 
their growing influence over the Indians and 

*This is the generally accepted origin of Yankee Doodle; 
but it is denied, and an interesting history of its origin is given 
in " Gleanings for the Curious," page 353. 

tThe fort at the mouth of the Cape Fear was named Fort 
Johnston after Governor Gabriel Johnston, was authorized by 
Act of 1745, completed in 1748, made a quarantine station in 
1761. Captain John Dalrymple was appointed its commander 
by General Braddock in May, 1755. The Fort at Ocracoke was 
named Fort Granville. 

And HIvS Timks. 31 

the necessity for renewed exertions to defeat 
their schemes. He earnestly appealed to them 
in the King's name to grant as large a snm as 
possible, consistent with the resonrces of the 
Province, to defend the frontier and to assist 
in offensive operations against the enemy. He 
nrged, in this connection, the erection of a fort 
between Third and Fourth Creeks near the 
South Yadkin River, in Rowan County, which 
was regarded as nearly a central point on the 
frontier between the Northern and Southern 
boundaries of the Province. 

In response to this appeal, the Legislature 
appropriated ten thousand pounds for the erec- 
tion of the fort at that point, and for raising 
and equipping and paying three companies of 
fift}^ men each, exclusive of commissioned 

And now the name of Hugh Waddell began 
to be conspicuous in North Carolina annals. 
He had already acquired some reputation, and 
had been promoted in the expedition of 1754 — 
although not j^et of age — as appears, not only 
from Governor Dobbs' letter already cited, but 
from the following passage in Williamson's 
History'-' in regard to the necessit}^ which arose 

^Volume II, page 86. 

32 A Colonial Officer 

for treating with the Indians at that time, viz: 
"For this purpose, Hugh Waddell, of Rowan 
County, an officer of great firmness and integ- 
rity, was commissioned to treat with the Ca- 
tawba and Cherokee Indians." Whether there 
is any other reason for giving Rowan Count}^ 
as his residence at that time than is to be 
found in the fact that one of the first grants of 
land to him was located there, and that his 
military service at that time was rendered there, 
is unknown. There is a deed recorded in New 
Hanover County for a lot in Wilmington, con- 
ve3^ed by Edward Moseley to his "loving 
friend " Hugh Waddell, which is dated "Fort 
Dobbs, March 9th, 1761," in which both parties 
are described as of Rowan County, but, as 
Moseley never lived in Rowan, it is evident 
that the place where the deed was ?nadc is 
given as their residence. They were both on 
military duty there then, and most of the 
grants to Waddell up to that time were for 
lands in Anson County. 

The treaty referred to by Williamson was 
made bj^ Captain Waddell in 1756, about the 
time he built the fort authorized by the Assem- 
bly in the fall of 1755 above mentioned. It 
was a treaty offensive and defensive, and was 
executed on behalf of the Catawbas by Ora- 

And His Times. 33 

loswa, King Higlar and others, and on the 
part of the Cherokees by the distinguished 
Chief and Orator, Atta-Kulla-Kulla. This 
last named Indian Chief was a man of decided 
ability, and was far in advance of his race in 
his desire for peace and civilization. He was, 
according to Hewat, " esteemed to be the wisest 
man of the nation and the most steady friend 
of the Knglish." He had visited England as 
early as 1730,''' and in 1767 went by sea to 
New York, where he was treated with marked 


At the instigation of individuals in South 
Carolina, permitted, if not encouraged, by Go\'- 
ernor Lyttleton of that Province, who was 
constantly doing such things, these Indians 
demanded, as a part of the treaty, that a fort 
should be built in the territory of each tribe 
by the English, as a place of refuge and pro- 
tection for their women and children in the 
event that their warriors should have to march 
against the French. 

Virginia and South Carolina built the Chero- 
kee fort, and North Carolina undertook to 
build for the Catawbas ; but the next year, 

*Ban croft, Vol. 348. 

tHistorical Magazine, Sept., 1857, page 282. 

34 A Colonial Officer 

while the workmen were engaged in building 
the work, under Captain Waddell's direction, 
he was surprised at receiving an order from 
Governor Dobbs to discharge them, for the 
reason that he, Dobbs, had received a message 
from Governor Lyttleton sajdng that the 
Indians desired that no fort should be built 
except by South Carolina. Dobbs instructed 
Captain Waddell at the same time to inquire 
into and ascertain the meaning of such con- 
duct. Where this Catawba Indian fort, in- 
tended for their protection, is built is not 
knowm f' but the fort between the Third and 
Fourth Creeks, in Rowan, authorized by the 
Legislature in 1755, was built by Captain 
Waddell previousl}^ to his commencing the 
work for the Indians and was named Fort 
Dobbs. Whether he had any engineering 
skill or not does not appear, but very little, if 
any, was required in the works erected "for 
defence against Indian attacks. In a letter to 
the Earl of Loudon, of date July loth, 1756, 
Governor Dobbs, speaking of the necessity for 
a fort at Lookout Harbor, says: "As I have 
no engineer here, nor know how to get one, I 

*It is supposed to have been the same as 0/d /-or/, iu Mc- 
Dowell County. 

And His TimEvS. 35 

was obliged to act as engineer myself, and rub 
up my former knowledge in fortifications when 
I was in the army, and have accordingly drawn 
up a plan, &c." A very unique description of 
Fort Dobbs was given in the report of the Com- 
missioners, Francis Brown and Richard Cas- 
well, to the Legislature. They had been sent 
out to view the Western settlements, to examine 
localities suitable for additional forts, and to 
inspect Fort Dobbs, and in regard to the latter 
the}^ reported as follows: 

"And that they had likewise viewed the 
State of Fort Dobbs, and found it to be a good 
and Substantial Building of the Dimentions 
following (that is to say) The Oblong Square 
fift}^ three feet by forty, the opposite Angles 
Twenty four feet and Twenty-Two In height 
Twenty four and a half feet as by the Plan 
annexed Appears, The Thickness of the Walls 
which are made of Oak Logs regularly dimin- 
ished from sixteen Inches to Six, it contains 
three floors, and there may be discharged from 
each floor at one and the same time about one 
hundred Musketts the same is beautifull}' sit- 
uated in the fork of Fourth Creek a Branch of 
the Yadkin River, And they also found under 
Command of Capt Hugh Waddel Forty six 
Effective men Officers and Soldiers as by the 

36 A Colonial Officer 

List to the said Report Annexed Appears the 
same being sworn to by the said Capt in their 
Presence the said Officers and Soldiers Appear- 
ing well and in good Spirits — Signed the 21st 
day of December 1756 

FrancIvS Brown 
Richard Caswell" 
Captain Waddell was twenty-one years old 
when this work was erected, and judging by 
his rank and the importance of the business 
entrusted to him, it is reasonable to suppose 
that he had already exhibited the qualities 
which afterwards made him the highest mili- 
tary officer in the Province before he had 
attained the age of thirty-five. 

He remained on frontier duty during the 
year 1756, and until the latter part of Novem- 
ber, 1757, when he took his seat for the first 
time in the General Assembly as 'a member 
from Rowan County, having been elected to 
fill a vacancy caused by the expulsion from 
that body of a member from that County. 
During 1757, in addition to commencing the 
fort for the Catawbas which Governor Lj'ttle- 
ton, of South Carolina, interfered with, he was 
called upon to make a ver}^ ^ong and tedious 
march with his command over an exceedingly 

And His Times. 37 

rough country to the relief of Fort Loudon, ••= 
where Captain Paul Demeref was in great 
danger. This fort was built by Andrew Lewis 
under orders from the Earl of Loudon, Com- 
mander-in-Chief, and was situated on the South- 
ern bank of the Tennessee River, about thirty 
miles from the present city of Knoxville, and 
was the northernmost of a series of forts com- 
mencing at Augusta, Georgia, and extending 
up the Savannah River. 

Lewis informed Governor Dobbs that nego- 
tiations were going on between the French and 
the Cherokees, Nantowees and Savannahs, and 
that after the fort was built, and after Captain 
Demere, who had been sent there with a garri- 
son of two hundred men, had taken possession, 
the Cherokees expressed great dissatisfaction 
at the presence of so many armed men among 
them and desired that they should be sent 
back. Lewis said their intention was to take 
the fort and surrender it to the French. Upon 
this information Captain Waddell was sent out 
with reinforcements.! 

*There was also a Fort Loudofi at Winchester, Virginia. 

tMis-spelled Dennie in all N. C. histories. He was Captain 
of the South Carolina Independent Company after Captain 
MacKaye. Commanded at Fort Prince George in 1760, and 
was killed by the Cherokees. 

jMartin, vol. II, page 90. 

38 A Colonial Officer 

An examination of a map of the country 
over which this march had to be made, will 
give some idea of the kind of service required 
of Provincial troops at that time. The dis- 
tance b}^ the route taken was more than two 
hundred miles, the whole territory was covered 
by an unbroken forest, and nearly half of it 
was a wilderness of mountain ranges higher 
than any on the continent east of the Rocky 
Mountains. There were no roads except In- 
dian trails, and no inhabitants save the savage 
and treacherous red man. 

Again, during the year 1757, Governor Dobbs 
was asked to render aid to South Carolina 
where, as Governor Iv3^ttleton informed him, 
the Indians, continually instigated by the 
French, were becoming very troublesome and 
would soon, unless aid was extended, be beyond 
his power to control. The Legislature granted 
the aid asked, and it is probable that Captain 
Waddell was again ordered to march his com- 
mand to the relief of the sister Colony, but 
there is no record of the expedition. 

He remained on frontier duty, as already 
stated, until elected to the Assembly, in which 
body he took his seat on the 28th November, 
1757, and on the adjournment of the Assembly 
he returned to his command, and soon after, 

And His Timks. 39 

in Ma}', 1758, was promoted to the rank of 
Major, and assigned to the command of the 
three companies raised for the final expedition 
against Fort Dn Quesne nnder General Forbes, 
an account of which will be given in the next 

Before proceeding to an account of that 
expedition, however, it will be alike pertinent 
to the subject, and eminently due to the mem- 
ory of another brave and faithful North Caro- 
lina Colonial officer, to recite the facts in regard 
to the campaign of 1754, with which he, and 
the soldiers under him, were connected, and 
concerning which there has been some m3^sti- 
fication and much misrepresentation. The 
publication, in 1884, of the " Dinwiddie Pa- 
pers " by the Historical Society of Virginia, 
has thrown much light on the subject, although 
if both sides of the correspondence between 
Governor Dinwiddie and that officer could have 
been preserved and published, the facts would 
be much clearer than the}^ are. 

At the beginning of the year 1754, while 
Matthew Rowan, President of the Council, was 
acting Governor of North Carolina, and before 
the arrival of Governor Dobbs, the Assembly 

40 A Colonial Officer 

had voted — as they alwaj^s did, though other 
Colonies failed'^ — a liberal sum of money 
(^12,000) in aid of Virginia to repel French 
invasion and maintain the right of Great Britain 
to the territory along the Ohio and its tributa- 
ries. This was the first tmie in our Colonial 
history that troops were raised by a Colony 
to serve outside of its borders i7i the common 
defence of all ^ and the spirit thereby manifested 
exhibited itself afterwards in the first arjned 
resistance to the Stamp Act in America, and 
in the first Declaration of Independence. 

On the 23d of March Governor Dinwiddle 
acknowledged the receipt of a letter from Presi- 
dent Rowan, by the hands of Mr. Ashe, in 
regard to the action of North Carolina, and 
expressed his pleasure thereat. He said his 
own Assembl}^ were much divided, that a spirit 
of contention existed among them, and that 
they had voted only ^10,000 for the imme- 
diate raising of 300 men to join and escort a 
company of 100 men, then on the Ohio, for 
the purpose of building a fort; but he did not 
doubt that they would raise a much larger 
sum for the general defence. He said that as 

*" Except North Carolina, not one of the other Colonies has 
granted any supplies." Governor Dinwiddie to C. Hanbury, 
May loth, 1754. 

And HIvS Time;s. 41 

the campaign was to be for the common safety 
of all, each Colony shonld pay and provision 
its own forces. He expressed surprise at the 
liberal pay allowed by North Carolina to her 
soldiers, viz.: three shillings a day, and begged 
President Rowan to use his influence with the 
officers and soldiers to induce them to accept 
the same pay as the Virginians, which was 
eight pence a da}^, but said he feared, if the 
North Carolinians knew that, thej- would not 
come. Then, after some inquiry about pro- 
visions. Governor Dinwiddie saj^s: 

" I am glad your regiment comes under the 
command of Colonel Innes, whose capacity, 
judgment and cool conduct I have a great 
regard for. And when he comes here I will 
do all I can to help him. The march of your 
people by land will be long and very fatiguing. 
I advise their coming by sea to Hampton," &c. 

On the same da}^ he wrote to Colonel Innes, 
in answer to a letter from him by Mr. Ashe, 
addressing him as "Dear James," expressing 
his pleasure at the prospect of seeing him "at 
the head of a regiment of 750 men," telling 
him that he intended him for the chief com- 
mand, but that the few troops already raised 
had to march immediately to the Ohio, and^ 
therefore, he had to commission the officers. 

42 A Colonial Officer 

It would seem that Colonel Innes had alluded 
to his own age as a possible difficulty in his 
wa}', and also to the expectations of the \^ir- 
ginians in regard to the command of the troops, 
for Governor Dinwiddie says: "Your age is 
nothing when you reflect on ^^our regular 
method of living." And again: "As for the 
expectations of the people here, I always have 
regard to merit, and I know yours, and you 
need not mind or fear any reflections." 

Colonel Innes reported in person to Gov- 
ernor Dinwiddie promptly, and on the 15th 
April, took a letter from him to President 
Rowan, from which it appears that there had 
been a full conference between them in regard 
to the North Carolina forces. 

Colonel Joshua Fr}^, " an English gentle- 
man, bred at Oxford,"''' was made Commander- 
in-Chief of the expedition. Lieutenant Colonel 
George Washington started from Alexandria 
on the loth May with the first detachment of 
150 men, and had arrived within seventy-five 
miles of the place selected for the erection of 
the fort at the Forks of the Monongaheia, when 
he learned that a French force had comedown 
on the company building it and had captured it. 

^Montcalm and Wolfe, by Francis Parkman, Vol. I, 142. 

And His Times. 43 

Washington then went into camp and awaited 
reinforcements. Colonel Fry was taken ill, and 
there was great delay in moving his command 
to Washington's assistance. Abont the first 
of June Colonel Fry died, and on the 4th Gov- 
ernor Dinwiddie, writing to Washington, whom 
he had promoted to the Colonelcy of the Vir- 
ginia regiment in Fry's stead, informed him 
that " Colonel James Innes, an old experienced 
officer, is daily expected, who is appointed 
Commander-in-Chief of all the forces, which I 
am ver}^ sensible will be very agreeable to you 
and the other officers." On the same day he 
made out Colonel Innes' commission as Com- 
mander-in-Chief, and his instructions. On the 
loth, Washington, acknowledging the receipt 
of the letter to him, says : "I rejoice that I am 
likely to be happ}' under the command of an 
experienced officer and man of sense. It is 
what I have ardently wished for." On the 
20th, Governor Dinwiddie, writing to the Gov- 
ernor of New York, announced the arrival of 
the two companies from that Province, but 
complained bitterl}^ that the}^ were not only 
not " Compleat in Numbers," as promised, 
but that many were too old to stand a march 
of two hundred miles ; that they had no blank- 
ets, tents or provisions, and were " burthened 

44 A Colonial Officer 

with thirty women and children" — a decidedl}^ 
Falstaffian combination. 

Abont the last of Jnne, the North Carolina 
troops, which, npon the discovery that each of 
the Colonies wonld have to support its own 
forces, had been reduced in number from 750, 
the force originally determined upon, to 450, 
began to arrive at Winchester, having marched 
through the country instead of taking ship to 
Hampton, as suggested by Governor Dinwid- 
dle, and about the same time Colonel Wash- 
ington was complaining to the Governor that 
his command had had no flour for six days, 
and could not hear of any on the way to them ; 
that they did not have provisions of any sort 
for two days ahead, and that they were in want 
of ammunition. 

Colonel Innes was also writing to Governor 
Dinwnddie about the wretched mismanagement 
of the expedition and the want of supplies of 
all sorts; and, finally, on the nth of July, he 
informed him that unless something was done 
he should disband the North Carolina regiment 
and let them go home. They were not onlj^ 
without supplies, but their pay was in arrears 
and they could not buy what they needed. 
Governor Dinwiddie declined to advance any 
money to them, saying, " Our own regiment 

And His Times. 45 

has got all the mone}^ I can spare," and repeat- 
ing that each Colonj^ must subsist its own 
forces. He said he and the Quartermaster and 
Commissary were in advance to the North 
Carolina regiment, and expected payynent from 
the produce of the pork brought from North 
Carolina^ or purchased by Innes, and he advised 
the latter to consult Governor Dobbs as to 
what he should do for the future, " and it is 
probable he will find some method of keeping 
your regiment together for eight months 
longer." After telling him to call a council 
of officers to consult about building a log fort 
and magazine, and saying that he did not wish 
him to proceed towards the Ohio, &c., &c., he 
again informs him as follows: " I can give no 
orders for entertaining your regiment, as this 
Dominion will maintain none but their own 
forces." At the same time, as appears b}- 
Governor Dinwiddle's letter to Abercrombie, he 
was supplying the two independent companies 
from New York, and the independent compau}- 
from South Carolina, with everything the}- 
needed, except their pay, which came out of 
the royal revenue, viz.: " tents, blankets, ket- 
tles, knapsacks, spatterdashes, wagons and 
provisions," and the South Carolina compau}^ 
had gone to the front and joined Washington, 

46 A Colonial Officer 

and on the 3d of July had surrendered, with 
the force under him, at the Great Meadows, 
after a gallant engagement with much supe- 
rior numbers. 

Colonel Innes, who was at Winchester, where 
the forces were to assemble, soon discovered a 
strong feeling among the Virginians against 
his appointment to the chief command, and a 
mutinous disposition soon developed itself 
among them, which he reported to the Gov- 
ernor, who said he was sorry for it, and added 
that they had been greatly fatigued and not 
properly paid, " but as money is ordered for 
them I hope they will proceed with spirit." 

The North Carolina troops were not recruited 
rapidly, and, from various causes, were slow 
in getting to Virginia. They were, doubtless, 
apprehensive of the very result which hap- 
pened. Knowing that their number had been 
reduced from that originally intended, because 
of the difficulty of supporting such a force 
beyond the limits of the Province, where the 
only money they had would not pass current, 
they doubtless began the service with misgiv- 
ings. Finding after they got to Virginia that 
they were in danger of starvation, and that the 
Virginians were mutinous about Colonel Innes' 
appointment, and that Governor Dinwiddle 

And His Times. 47 

demanded tliat they should not receive more 
than eight pence a day, and that he had written 
to Colonel Innes " the}^ cannot have the inipu^ 
dence to expect more than eight pence a day, 
as the other forces have, and if you cannot 
compel them to serve for it I think they had 
better be disbanded," and Governor Dinwiddie 
having expressed the opinion, i7i advance of 
any knowledge on the subject, that their com- 
pany officers were incompetent, and the situa- 
tion having become well-nigh desperate under 
the pressure of such circumstances. Colonel 
Innes disbanded them. 

These are the facts in regard to this matter, 
as gathered from the correspondence of Gov- 
ernor Dinwiddie himself, recently published, 
but they do not so appear upon the page of 
history. There the North Carolina troops are 
represented (as one writer puts it) as having 
" disbanded themselves in a very disorderly 
manner," and " to this unmilitary conduct 
and lack of patriotism " is attributed the fail- 
ure of the projected expedition against the 
French. '=' None of the reasons for their con- 
duct are given, except such as make them 
appear in an unfavorable light. 

*Sparks's "Washington's Writings," Vol. II, page 63, note. 

48 A Colonial Officer 

Colonel Innes was ordered to build a fort on 
Wills's Creek, afterwards called Fort Cumber- 
land, as a rallying point, and did so. He 
remained there in command with aboiU 400 
men, only fort}^ of whom were North Caro- 

The Virginia Assembly met on the 2 2d da}' 
of August, and on the 27th passed a suppl}' 
bill for ;^20,ooo, but the next day put a "rider" 
on it, to pay a private account, greatly to the 
disgust of Governor Dinwiddie, who called it 
"a rider" in a letter to Governor Hamilton, 
and said in a letter to Lord Fairfax, " I imagine 
your Lordship, in your observation of the Par- 
liament's proceedings, does not remember an}?- 
tack to a money bill since King William's 

The Council rejected the bill thus clogged, 
and as the House stuck to their " rider " the 
Governor prorogued them until the 17th Octo- 
ber. This refusal to vote money to support 
the troops, although ostensibly because of the 
failure of the " rider," was really because 
Colonel Innes was occupying the position 
which the Assembl}' thought Washington 
ought to have, and, consequently, there was no 
attempt at a movement against the French. 

Colonel Innes became verj'^ restive under his 

And His Times. 49 

enforced inaction and the many annoyances to 
which he was snbjected, and so informed the 
Governor, who begged him to be patient a little 
while longer. This was on the 5tli of October. 

Between that date and the 20th, Governor 
Dinwiddie, Governor Dobbs, the newl}'' ap- 
pointed Governor of North Carolina, and Gov- 
ernor Sharpe of Mar3^1and met for consnltation 
and agreed upon a plan of operations ; and at 
this meeting Governor Sharpe produced a com- 
mission from the King appointing him Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the proposed expedition, 
whereupon the Governors agreed to appoint 
Colonel Innes " Camp Master General " with 
the rank then held by him, and he was so 
notified on the 24th. On the 25th, Governor 
Dinwiddie, writing to Sir Thomas Robinson, 
said he was glad Governor Sharpe was appointed 
Commander-in-Chief, as it would put an end 
to some disputes between the independent 
companies and the officer in command. 

" This person. Colonel J. Innes," he said, 
*' has been in His Majesty's army and is of 
an unblemished character, of great reputation 
for his bravery and conduct, and I shall still 
endeavor to keep him in the service." 

Innes wanted to resign, and Washington 
did resign, on account of the impudent claims 

50 A Colonial Officer 

of the Captains of the independent companies, 
who refused to recognize their superior rank. 

Governor Sharpe never had an opportunity 
to display his military skill that j^ear, and the 
next year Braddock was sent out from Eng- 
land as commander of the forces. 

Colonel Innes remained at Fort Cumberland 
making treaties with the Indians and organ- 
izing the forces while completing the fort ; 
and on the 24th June, 1755, was appointed 
" Governor of Fort Cumberland " by General 
Braddock, and left in command there when 
Braddock advanced on his hapless march. And 
there he received the broken fugitives from the 
fatal field, and there he was abandoned by 
Colonel Dunbar, who succeeded Braddock in 
the command, and who precipitately " went 
into winter-quarters" (in August) in Phila- 
delphia, leaving Innes with 400 sick and 
wounded, and a handful of Provincials to 
defend the frontier. And there this ill-used 
but true and loyal soldier continued to do his 
duty to his King and countr}^ faithfully and 
in the face of all sorts of difficulties until the 
spring of 1756, when he returned to North 
Carolina on leave of absence. 

Sparks, in a note to his edition of Wash- 
ington's Writings (Vol. II, page 262), says 

And His Times. 51 

that Colonel Innes was incompetent, and that, 
aside from his incompetency, he was an inhabi- 
tant of North Carolina, and, as snch, was 
nnacceptable to the Virginia troops, and that 
Governor Dinwiddle was censnred on the 
gronnd that he was partial to Innes because 
he and Innes were both natives of Scotland. 
The charge of incompetency was not supported 
by any evidence whatever, unless Colonel 
Innes' patient endurance of ungenerous treat- 
ment, his urgent requests to be sent to the 
front, and the commendation of Governor Din- 
widdle, and Lord Loudon, the Commander-in- 
Chief, can be twisted into such evidence. He 
had served as a Captain in the expedition 
against Carthagena in 1740, and was an inti- 
mate friend of Washington's elder brother, 
Major Lawrence Washington, who was also a 
Captain in Colonel Wm. Gooch's Virginia 
regiment in that affair. 

That he was not the equal of Washington 
may be cordially admitted, but it is to be 
remembered that, at that time, Washington 
himself had been the victim of two disasters — 
the surrender at the Great Meadows and Brad- 
dock's defeat — and that no opportunity- had 
been presented for the exhibition of his great 
capacity ; and further, that, however absurd a 

52 A Colonial Officer 

comparison between him and Washington may 
now appear, the situation then did not justify 
Mr. Sparks' criticism, which is thus com- 
mented upon because it was the basis upon 
which many, if not all, subsequent writers have 
rested their discussion of the campaigns of 
i754-'55. Mr. Sparks was entirely justified, 
however, in characterizing as natural* the asser- 
tion of their "rights" in the affair b}^ the 
Virginians, for three years afterwards the 
Virginia Assembly, being dissatisfied with the 
manner in which Forbes' expedition was man- 
aged, "and with the partiality which the}^ 
imagined was shown to Pennsylvania," passed 
an act on the 14th of September, 1758, to with- 
draw the first regiment (Washington's) from 
the Regulars on the ist December and station 
it on the frontiers of their own Colony — which 
would have amounted to a withdrawal of all 
the Virginia troops, as the time of enlistment 
of the second regiment expired on the ist of 
December, while the first regiment was enlisted 
for the war. 

The foregoing narrative of facts, which is 
now for the first time compiled, is given in 
justice to the memor\' of a good and true man, 

*Sparks, Vol. II, page 30S, note. 

And His Times. 53 

who died a childless benefactor of the children 
of his poorer fellow-citizens. And as a proper 
conclnsion to it, the following biographical 
data are added: 

James Innes was born, as is inferred from a 
clause in his will, at Cannisbay, in Caithness, 
which is in the extreme Northern part of Scot- 
land, near "John O'Groat's house." He prob- 
abl}^ came to the Province of North Carolina 
with Governor Gabriel Johnston, as he was 
recommended for appointment to the Council 
in 1734, and was living in the Province in 1735. 
He was a member of the Council from July, 
1750, to May, 1759, having previously served 
as Captain in the expedition to Carthagena, 
and having been one of Lord Granville's agents, 
and Colonel of the New Hanover militia. He 
died on the 5th of September, 1759, at Wil- 
mington. By his will, which was made Jul}^ 
5th, 1754, at Winchester, Va., which was proved 
before Governor Dobbs at Newbern, October 
9th, 1759, and is registered in New Hanover 
Count}^ Colonel Innes, after directing that a 
remittance maj^ be made " to Edinburg sufficient 
to pay for a church bell for the Parish Church at 
Cannisbay, in Caithness," and a further remit- 
tance of one hundred pounds sterling, to be 
put at interest for the poor of said Parish, gave 

54 A Colonial Officer 

his plantation, " Point Pleasant," near Wil- 
mington, a considerable personal estate, his 
library and one hnndred pounds sterling " for 
the use of a free school for the benefit of the 
youth of North Carolina," and appointed as 
trustees of the fund "the Coll: (Colonel) of 
New Hanover regiment, the Parson of Wil- 
mington Church, and the Vestry for the time 
being, or the majority of them." This zvas 
the first pn'z 'ate bequest for educational purposes 
in the history of North Caro/ijia^ and in the 
same year (1754) the first appropriation b}^ the 
Legislature for a public seminary was made. 
The Trustees, under his will, recovered very 
little of his property, the houses having been 
burned, but'the " Innes Academy " was started 
under an act of the Legislature of 1783, and 
was kept up for some time by private sub- 

Colonel Innes' widow Jean, in 1761, married 
Francis Corbin, Lord Granville's agent, a 
member of the Council, who was removed 
therefrom in 1760. 

And His Times. 55 



Forbes' Expedition to Fort Du Quesne — Major Waddell Com- 
mands the North Carolina Troops — Sergeant John Rogers — 
Return of the North Carolina Troops and Expedition 
Against the Cherokees — Waddell promoted to a Colo- 
nelcy — Peace Declared — End of Dobbs' Administration — 
Notice of Dobbs' Family. 

^ I ^HE forces on Braddock's expedition in 
-^ 1755, numbered about two thousand, one- 
half of whom were Provincial troops, and of 
these North Carolina furnished less than one 
hundred, under Dobbs' son, Edward Brice 
Dobbs, as Major. These North Carolinians 
were not engaged in Braddock's fight, but were 
with the reserve corps under Dunbar. The 
other half of Braddock's army was composed 
of two regiments of British Regulars from Ire- 
land, the 44tli and 48th, numbering five hun- 
dred men each, and commanded respective!}- 
by Sir Peter Halket and Colonel Dunbar. 
These regiments, which were said to be equal 
to any in the British army, were accompanied 
b}' an artillerj^ train and militar}- supplies. 
The terrible disaster which befell the expe- 

56 A Colonial Officer 

dition is familiar to ever}^ reader of American 
history, and a touching account of the discovery 
of the remains of Sir Peter Halket and his 
3'oung son who fought by his side, when 
Forbes' expedition reached the battlefield three 
years afterwards, is given by Bancroft. 

The expedition of 1758, under General 
Forbes, was more than three times as large as 
Braddock's, and consisted of i ,200 Highlanders, 
350 Royal Americans — a specially organized 
corps — about 2,700 Pennsylvanians, 1,600 Vir- 
ginians, 250 ]Mar3danders, and three companies 
of North Carolinians, with whom were some 

Braddock's expedition ended in an awful 
butchery and a disgraceful panic and flight of 
the British Regulars, which the heroic conduct 
of Washington and his Provincials could not 
avail to arrest. 

Forbes' expedition terminated, after six 
months of terrible hardships, in the occupation 
of the smoking ruins of a fort from which the 
enemy had fled. 

There is, to the reader of the present da}-, a 
profound pathos in the letters of Washington, 
written during the period covered by these two 

The constant and numerous difficulties and 

And His Times. 57 

annoj-ances to which he was subjected on the 
last one, and which ranged from building camp 
chimneys for the General, or regulating the 
steelyards of a contractor, all the way through 
the category of defending himself from slander, 
resisting impudent attempts to degrade him in 
rank, or passing sleepless nights of anxiety 
over the condition of his troops and the fate of 
the expedition, up to the time when, writing 
from Loyal Hanna to Governor Fauquier, he 
says: "The General and great part of his 
troops being yet behind, and the weather grow- 
ing very inclement, I apprehend our expedition 
must terminate for this year at this place." 
These trials and the emotions they excited in 
him are all faithfully reflected in his corre- 
spondence during that period, which was care- 
fully preserved and published, with his other 
writings, nearly a half century after his death. 
These letters discover the same calm and lofty 
spirit, the same sturdy sense of duty, the same 
self-poise, the same courage and sagacity, and 
the same inflexible integrity which marked his 
whole career and made his name immortal. 

In the spring of 1758, when the preliminary 
arrangements for Forbes' expedition were in 
progress, Major Waddell was assigned to the 
command of the three North Carolina compa- 


58 A Colonial Officer 

nies authorized to be recruited by the act of 
Assembly granting aid to the expedition, in 
answer to Mr. Pitt's appeal to the Colonies. 
He at once proceeded to organize, equip and 
prepare the troops for their long march, and 
as soon as the}' were ready he set out with 
them for Virginia. 

There was no complaint of delay in his 
getting to the front, as there had been fre- 
quently by Governor Dinwiddle in regard to 
the North Carolina forces in the two previous 
expeditions of 1754 and 1755. He marched 
promptly to Virginia and went thence to the 
front immediately. The writer of these pages 
now has a field return made by Major Wad- 
dell on that expedition. It is written on a 
sheet about eight inches in length b}^ five 
inches in breadth, in a very clear, legible hand, 
and although the paper is somewhat worn and 
discolored, the ink is comparativel}^ fresh- 
looking. It is headed: "A Field Return of 
the North Carolina Detachment under the com- 
mand of Major Waddell, Loyal Hannon,* 25th 
October 1758." Besides the officers, there are 
but twenty-six men on the return, but imme- 

■*Governor Dinwiddie spelled this name "Loyal henning." 
It is Loyal Hanna. 

And His Times. 59 

diateh- under it, and before his signature, 
"HuWaddell Maj : N. C. Troops," there is 
an addition of the figures 26 and 96, and a 
footing of 122, which was, doubtless, his effect- 
ive force. The date and place of this field 
return fully corroborate the statement after- 
wards made by Governor Dobbs, that Major 
Waddell " had great honor done him, being 
employed on all reconnoitering parties " on 
this expedition. 

One of those minor events which so often 
shape history, but are lost sight of in general 
results, occurred to Major Waddell's command 
on this expedition ; but, although — as has been 
the case with so many more important facts 
in the history of North Carolina — no credit has 
ever been given for it, it is nevertheless true 
that the North Carolina companies were in 
the advance corps of Forbes's arm}^, scouting, 
reconnoitering, clearing roads, building bridges 
and boats, and rendering the most valuable 
service; and that to a Sergeant of Major Wad- 
dell's commanri, named John Rogers, '•'" General 
Forbes was indebted for the information which 
caused the immediate advance and occupation 

*At August Term, 1765, the Inferior Court of New Hanover 
County, of which General Waddell was a Magistrate, appointed 
John Rogers a Constable. 

6o A Colonial Officer 

of the fort. They had been in the advance 
corps from the beginning, and before Wash- 
ington had, upon his own earnest application,''' 
been assigned to that command. This is evident, 
from the fact that Major Waddell's field return, 
already mentioned, is dated at L-oj^al Hanna 
on the 25th October, while Colonel Washing- 
ton did not reach that point in the advance 
until the 30th. 

Washington, who had saved the remnant of 
Braddock's expedition three years before, 
although treated with great consideration and 
freely consulted by General Forbes, was greatly 
apprehensive that the persistent refusal to act 
upon his advice would defeat the purpose of 
the expedition, as appears by his letter of Sep- 
temper ist to Speaker Robinson, in which he 
said: "Nothing now but a miracle can bring 
this campaign to a happy issue." When, 
finally, the accumulating obstacles, dela3^s and 

*" Colonel Stephen gives me some room to apprehend that 
a body of light troops may soon move on. I pray your interest 
most sincerely with the General to get my regiment and myself 
included in the number. If any argument is needed to obtain 
this favor, I hope, without vanity, I may be allowed to say, 
that from long intimacy with these woods, and frequent scout- 
ing in them, my men are at least as well acquainted with all 
the passes and difficulties as any troops that will be employed. "^ 
Washington to Colonel Bouquet, 21 July. 

And His Times. 6i 

embarrassments culminated in a council of 
war, at which the alternative was presented 
of going into winter quarters or abandoning 
the expedition, "a mere accident," as Sparks 
says, occurred, which " brought hope out of 
despair." This mere accident, which all the 
historians mention, and to which Washington 
himself alludes as a Providential occurrence, 
but without mentioning au}^ names, was the cap- 
ture of an Indian from whom the true situation 
of affairs at Fort Du Quesne was learned. But 
although this mere accident, or, in other words, 
this event of absolutely vital importance to the 
success of this formidable expedition, which 
established English supremacy in the South, 
is carefull}^ recorded, the person who was so 
fortunate as to accomplish this mere accident 
is as carefull}^ ignored, to-wit, Sergeant John 
Rogers of 1*he North Carolina forces. It was 
a little thing to do, perhaps, but Forbes con- 
sidered the importance of doing it so great that 
he offered a reward of fifty guineas, and 
another officer offered a reward of four hun- 
dred guineas'^' to au}^ one who would take an 
Indian prisoner, so that they might get infor- 

*Petition of John Rogers to the Assembly. Colonial Records 
of N. C, Vol. VI, 384. 

62 A Colonial Officer 

mation of the enem3'''s movements. Rogers 
accomplished it at the hazard of his life, and 
from the prisoner captured by him it was 
ascertained that the garrison at Fort Du Quesne 
were onl}^ waiting the appearance of the British 
when they would withdraw, and thereupon the 
light troops made a forced march and the 
enemy burned and abandoned the fort. 

General Forbes died without paying or pro- 
viding for the payment of the reward to Rogers, 
but the Assembly of North Carolina allowed 
him twenty pounds for his gallantry. 

Major Waddell himself "dressed and acted 
as an Indian" on this expedition, according 
to Governor Dobbs's statement, and a tradition 
in his family says that a large dog belonging 
to him was the first living creature that entered 
Fort Du Quesne after the French evacuated it. 

After the fall of the fort all --the troops, 
except enough to garrison it, returned to their 
homes, including the North Carolinians. 

But the French, who retired from Fort Du 
Quesne and moved farther southward, very 
soon had an opportunity to retaliate, and form 
an alliance with the very same Cherokees who 
had been co-operating with the English. This 
was the result of an unfortunate, and, as it 

^And His Timks. 63 

turned out, a cruel act on the part of some 

The Cherokees had aided the British on 
every expedition against Fort Dn Quesne, 
strictly adhering in this respect to their treaty 
obligations ; and it was on the return of the 
warriors from this final expedition that the 
unfortunate occurrence referred to took place. 
They were passing through the extreme fron- 
tier settlements of Virginia, and finding some 
horses running wild in the woods — as was the 
case everywhere on the frontiers — they took 
some of them to supply the places of those 
they had lost on the expedition, " never im- 
agining," as is said by Hewat, "that they 
belonged to any individual in the Province." 
Thereupon some Virginians, without attempt- 
ing any other process of redress, attacked them 
with arms and killed twelve or fourteen of 
the unsuspecting warriors and took others 
prisoners. The Cherokees were naturally 
incensed at such an ungrateful and cruel 
return from the people whose soil they had 
marched several hundred miles to defend, and 
when they reached their homes at once told 
what had happened. The result was an out- 

64 A Colonial Officer 

burst of fury, especially among the young 
warriors who were kinsmen of the victims; 
and the emissaries of the French, who were 
among them, added fuel to the flame of their 
resentment b}^ telling them that the British 
intended to kill all their warriors and to reduce 
all their women and children to slavery. These 
emissaries roused their vengeance in ever}^ 
way and supplied them with arms and ammu- 
nition. Fort Loudon, on the Tennessee, where 
there was a garrison of 200 men under Cap- 
tains Demere and Stuart, was one of the first 
objects of their vengeance, and hunting parties 
and stragglers from that post were attacked 
and killed. Descents were made upon the 
settlements and the inhabitants were murdered 
and scalped. Fort Loudon was cut off from 
supplies and the garrison was in danger of 

The news of the Cherokee outbreak soon 
spread and reached Fort Prince George, near 
the upper Savannah river, whose commanding' 
officer notified the Governor of South Carolina. 
Governor Dobbs was also notified, and at once 
ordered Waddell, who had been promoted to 
the rank of Colonel, to take all the Provincial 

*Carr, Coll. I, 444. 

And His Times. 65 

troops, and all the militia of Orange, Anson 
and Rowan Connties, who conld be properly 
armed, and rendezvous at Fort Prince George 
in conjunction with an expedition fitted out by 
Governor L-yttleton, of South Carolina and 
numbering about 1,400 men. The militia 
refused to march against the Cherokees, upon 
the ground that they were not bound to serve 
out of the limits of the Province. Colonel 
Waddell notified Governor Dobbs of this, and 
sent him, by the same express, a letter he had 
received from Governor Lyttleton. Dobbs 
appealed to the Assembly, then in session 
(Nov. 26th, 1759), and asked them tQ "pass a 
short bill to explain and enforce the militia 
law, and oblige the militia to act where ordered 
for the public good and the defence of the 
Province." On the 29th November the Assem- 
bly ordered about a thousand pounds to be 
given to Colonel Waddell to buy wagons, &c., 
and a resolution was passed "that the forces 
now in the pay of this Province, and the militia 
thereof, not to exceed 500 men," be kept in 
pay until the loth February, if necessary, and 
appropriated five thousand pounds therefor. 

The Cherokees were overawed by this dis- 
play of force and begged for peace. Another 
treaty was made with them, one of the pro- 

66 A Colonial Officer 

visions of which required them to leave twenty- 
four hostages, to secure the delivery of twen- 
ty-four Indians who had murdered the same 
number of whites since the former treaty. 

Governor Lyttleton very unwisely withdrew 
his forces, leaving only a small guard over the 
hostages, and the result was an attempt by 
the Indians to surprise the garrison and rescue 
the hostages on the 27th Januar^^ 1760.'-' They 
failed, but they murdered some traders and 
held the fort under a close blockade for some 

Colonel Waddell's force had been reduced 
after the treaty, but, upon a new outbreak of 
the Indians, he re-garrisoned Fort Dobbs and, 
under instructions, put five hundred militia 
on duty to protect the frontiers. He was 
attacked by the Indians at Fort Dobbs on the 
evening of the 27th February, the assault 
being made by two parties, but he repulsed 
them, killing ten or twelve, and lost onl}- one 
boy killed and two men wounded, one of whom 
was scalped. f He expected an attack the next 

*Williainson, Vol. II, 93. Carr, Col. I, 451. 

tHis name was Robert Campbell, and he was allowed by the 
Assembly twenty pounds for "present subsistence." CoL 
Rec, Vol. VI, 422. 

And His Times. 67 

night, but the Indians had enough of it and 
did not make another attempt. 

Whether Colonel Waddell was with the 
expedition of Colonel Montgomery and Major 
Grant which invaded the Cherokee country 
and fouo-ht an indecisive battle in the Etchoe 
settlement, near the present town of Franklin, 
on the 27th June, is uncertain. The retreat 
of IMontgomery to Fort Prince George caused 
the surrender of Fort Loudon, which was fol- 
lowed b}^ treachery and murder by the Indians. 

In the fall, however, Colonel Waddell was 
ordered to join Colonel Byrd, of Virginia, in 
striking the upper Cherokees, but the latter 
made peace and he discharged his troops. 

Thus the first five years after his arrival in 
the Province were passed by Colonel Waddell 
chiefly in the field in active service against the 
French and Indians. 

There is no record of any special service 
rendered by him between the years 1 760 and 
1765, except that which he performed during 
the sessions of the Assembly, of which body 
he was a prominent and useful member. As 
the population of the Province was steadily 
increasing, especially in the Western portion, 
and the Indian depredations were gradually 
ceasing, until the peace between Great Britain 

6S A Colonial Officer 

and France in 1763 put a stop to them entirely, 
it is most probable that he was relieved from 
active dnt3% and began to utilize the advan- 
tages, which his experience and knowledge of 
the country gave him, by judicious investments 
in lands, and the establishment of " stores " 
in various places in the back country, where 
the certainty of large profits awaited such 
ventures. That he did this about that time, 
and that he was largely interested in the mer- 
cantile firm of John Burgwin & Co., and 
realized handsome profits from the business, is 
known. He married in 1762, and Mr. Bur- 
gwin 's association with him in business was 
attributable to the fact that their wives were 
sisters and co-heiresses. 

Governor Dobbs, who was about seventy 
3'ears old when he was appointed Governor, 
because of his age, his infirmities of tempera- 
ment, and his ultra lo3^alty and unreasonable 
ideas in regard to prerogative, had not only 
irritated and disgusted the people, but had 
worn out the patience of his best friends; and, 
in October, 1764, Lieutenant Colonel William 
Tryon, of the Queen's Guards, was sent over 
and qualified as Lieutenant Governor of the 
Province at Wilmington. 

In the following JMarch, Governor Dobbs 

And His Times. 69 

died, in his Sad year, and was bnried on his 
plantation on Town Creek, below Wilmington. 
He had obtained a leave of absence, and 
intended going to England when death over- 
took him. 

In a letter to the Earl of Halifax, dated 
April 2d, 1765, at Wilmington, Try on writes 
as follows: 

"Last Thnrsday Governor Dobbs retired 
from the strife and cares of this world. Two 
days before his death he was busily employed 
in packing up his books for his passage to 
England. His physician had no other means 
to prevent his fatiguing himself than by telling 
him he had better prepare himself for a much 
longer voyage." 

The poor old man departed at a good time 
for himself, and, doubtless, at a convenient 
season for his lively and handsome young 
widow, who, not long afterwards, consoled 
herself with a new and younger husband, who 
was also destined, but under ver}^ different 
auspices, to be Governor of North Carolina, 
namely, Abner Nash. 

Governor Dobbs was a widower when he 
came to North Carolina, and he came solely 
for the purpose of improving his fortunes and 
providing for his near relatives — objects in the 

yo A Colonial Officer 

pursuit of which he cannot be accused of a 
want of diligence. 

By his first marriage he had two sons and 
two daughters, none of whom, except his 
3^ounger son, accompanied him to this countr}-. 
His oldest son, Conway Richard Dobbs, became 
High Sheriff of County Antrim, and the family 
seat, called Castle Dobbs, is still in the pos- 
session of his descendants.''' His second son, 
Edward Brice Dobbs, was appointed Captain 
of the North Carolina company sent on Brad- 
dock's expedition ; was afterwards, in the New 
York expedition, made a Major; was a member 
of the Council of North Carolina in 1757, and 
in 1767 signed himself "Captain in H. M.'s 
7th Regt of Foot or Royal Fusiliers." 

Governor Dobbs's second wife was Justina 
Davis, a daughter of John Davis, Esq., a 
planter living near Brunswick, on Cape Fear 
River. They had no child, and after Dobbs's 
death she married Abner Nash, who was a 
Major in the Revolution — a brother of General 
Francis Nash, who was killed at Germantown — 
was afterwards Governor of North Carolina, 
and was the father of the late Chief Justice 

*Dinwiddie Papers. 

And His TimKvS. 71 

When the trouble arose about the attacli- 
ment law of the Province, which, like the 
attachment laws of several other Provinces, 
gave a resident creditor advantage over all 
others by subjecting the property of non-resi- 
dent debtors to seizure for the satisfaction of 
such resident creditor's claim, one of the lead- 
ing cases arising under the act was that of 
Abner Nash against the Dobbs estate, in 1773, 
in which an attachment had been levied on 
the interest of Dobbs's son, who lived in Ire- 
land, to satisfy a legacy of ^2,000 left bj- 
Dobbs's will to his widow. The case went 
before the Privy Council and the plaintiff 
gained it. 

Governor Dobbs also brought over with him 
his nephew, Richard Spaight, who was made 
paymaster to the North Carolina forces in 
Braddock's expedition, was Secretary of the 
Province in 1756, and a member of the Council. 
He was the father of Richard Dobbs Spaight, 
who was Governor of North Carolina in 1792, 
and who was killed in a duel by John Stanh- 
in 1802, and was the grandfather of the second 
Richard Dobbs Spaight, who was also Gov- 
ernor in 1834. 

Throughout the whole of Dobbs's adminis- 

72 A Colonial Officer 

istration, Colonel Waddell appears to have 
been the most prominent militar}- fignre in 
the Province, and to have enjo3^ed the respect 
and confidence of both authorities and people 
in a high degree. 

And His Times. 73 



Tryon Becomes Governor — His Character and Conduct— The 
Stamp Act— Arrival of the Sloop of War Diligence at 
Brunswick — Colonel Waddell, with Colonel Ashe and 
others, Resists the Landing of the Stamps. 

UPON the death of Governor Dobbs, Tryon 
succeeded to the Governorship and quali- 
fied on the 3d April, 1765. 

He was an accomplished man of the world 
and a gallant soldier, but he was also vain and 
imperious. He still retained his rank in the 
British army and his place in the regular line 
of promotion, and he was ambitious of distinc- 
tion in the administration of a Colonial gov- 
ernment in which there had been, for many 
years, continual disagreement between the 
Assembly and his predecessors, and growing 
dissatisfaction among the people with their 
local civil officers. 

So far as their relations with the Crown were 

concerned, the inhabitants of the Province of 

North Carolina were as loyal as its most loyal 

subjects anywhere, but they had, particularly 


74 A Colonial Officer 

in the Western part of the ^tProvince, been 
anno3'ed, irritated and oppressed b}^ the petty 
frauds and extortions practiced upon them bv 
entry-takers, deput}' surveyors, land agents 
and court officers, and by the failure, in mau}- 
cases, of their own Assembl}- to provide ade- 
quate remedies for these evils. 

The character of Governor Tr3'on was totally 
different from that of Governor Dobbs. He 
was more adroit and conciliatory, and while 
cherishing high ideas of prerogative, was 
free from the little infirmities which age had 
only emphasized in Dobbs. He was pas- 
sionate, but his passion was under control ; he 
was young and vigorous, but — bej^ond a desire 
to displa}' some "pomp and circumstance," 
and to live luxuriousl}- — was not disposed to 
harry or oppress the people. His appoint- 
ment to the ofhce of Governor was, however, 
made at an unfortunate time for himself. The 
Stamp Act, a veritable Pandora's box, and the 
most far-reaching legislative blunder in the 
histor}' of England, was passed by Parliament 
and received the Ro3'al sanction about a fort- 
night before he qualified as Dobbs's successor,'"" 

*The vStanip Act was approved March 22fl, and he qualified 
April 3d. 

And His Timhs. 75 

and the news of its passage, which had been 
anticipated, was not long in getting to America. 

Before the passage of the Stamp Act, the 
Parliament of Great Britain had, in 1764, for 
the first time,'" nndertaken to appropriate the 
propert}' of American snbjects to the pnrpose 
of increasing the revennes of the Crown b}- 
imposing a duty on sugar, coffee, wine and 
other articles of foreign growth imported into 
the Colonies. Finding that there w^as still a 
deficit in the revenues, after the imposition of 
these duties on foreign imports, and in pur- 
suance of a previously declared purpose, the}- 
passed the Stamp Act in 1765. 

This act, which has alread}^ been character- 
ized as the most far-reaching legislative blun- 
der in the history of England, was the pet 
project of George Grenville, Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, who had adopted the plan of taxa- 
tion from Lord Bute, to whom it had been sug- 
gested b}- Jenkinson. 

The act, which contained fift3-five sections, 
provided an elaborate S3'Steni of stamp duties 
for the Colonies, and all offences against its 
provisions were made cognizable in the Courts 
of Admiralt}', in which there were no juries, 
"so that the Americans w^ere not onl}- to be 

^Bancroft, Vol. V, i88. 

76 A Colonial Officer 

taxed by the British Parliament, but to have 
the taxes collected arbitraril}-, under the decree 
of British Judges, without any trial by jur3^'"•' 

In introducing the measure, Grenville made 
an adroit and plausible speech, as he had done 
when, unfolding the budget of the previous 
year, he gave notice of his intention to bring 
in the present bill; but he did not find the 
same unanimity in favor of the latter, for 
while there was no debate and not one negative 
on the passage of the bill of 1764, the Stamp 
Act was debated for some time with much 
animation, and, on its final passage, forty -two 
votes were recorded against it, to two hundred 
and ninety-four in its favor. 

The opponents of the bill, however, almost 
without exception, admitted the power of Par- 
liament to pass the measure, although its con- 
stitutionality was as bitterly denied in the 
Colonies as the injustice of its provisions, and 
the utter inability of the people to comply with 
them was earnestly asserted. The measure 
was not only a new one, but threatened ruin 
to the Colonies. It was an internal revenue 
bill, exclusively applicable to the Colonies, 
which were without representation in the body 

*Bancroft (quoting Walpole), Vol. V, 156. 

And His TimEvS. 77 

that enacted it, and it clogged every trans- 
action of a business nature requiring the use 
of paper, and taxed the privilege of publishing, 
advertising in, or reading newspapers, pam- 
phlets and other publications. The tax, too, 
was not onl}^ imposed upon a multiplicit}^ of 
objects, but was very heavy on each. The 
cheapest stamp was one shilling. It taxed 
knowledge as well as business. The tax 
on a college diploma was ten dollars, and 
on an advertisement in a newspaper fifty cents. 
In the same proportion every written contract 
for the sale of property, every deed, every bill 
of sale, bond, note, bill of exchange, or other 
instrument used in business transactions, and 
each separate paper used in legal proceedings 
from the beginning of a suit to the end, had to 
pay a stamp tax. An amusing but fair illus- 
tration of the effect of it was afforded when 
Governor Trj^on, on the 21st December, 1765, 
submitted to the Council the question whether 
he could issue writs of election for the new 
Assembl}^ on unstamped paper. 

There was alread}^ the impost duty on all 
the luxuries (including under this head such 
articles as coffee and sugar); there was the tax 
involved in the enforcement of the Navigation 
Act, which, Bancroft says, "was the head- 

yS A Colonial Officer 

spring that colored all the stream of American 
Independence," and these taxes were outside 
of the taxes imposed by the Colonial Legisla- 
tures for the purposes of local government. 

So that, in the impoverished condition of the 
people, and amidst the trials and dangers 
that surrounded them, it looked like the ver}' 
wantonness of tyranny to add a stamp tax to 
their burdens. It was, besides, as the Colo- 
nists and some of the wiser English statesmen 
insisted, an unconstitutional measure. 

Daniel Dulaney, of Maryland, a lawyer 
whose ability in discussing the question pro- 
foundl}' impressed the public mind, both in 
England and America, and whose opinions 
were thought to have moulded those of Mr. 
Pitt, by whom they were publicly noticed with 
great honor, argued the rights of both parties 
with minute and elaborate learning, and his 
powerful reasoning strengthened the convic- 
tion of his countrymen that in opposing the 
act they were but vindicating their rights and 
defending their liberties. George Washington, 
in a letter to Francis Dandridge, in London, 
dated Mount Vernon, September 20th, 1765, 
says: "The Stamp Act imposed on the Colo- 
nies by the Parliament of Great Britain, 
engrosses the conversation of the speculative 

And His Timks. 79 

part of the Colonists, who look upon this iin- 
coiistitutioiial method of taxation as a direful 
attack upon their liberties, and loudly exclaim 
against the violation;" and he proceeds to 
show that, merely as a revenue scheme, the act 
and other ill-judged measures must prove dis- 
astrous to Great Britain, inasmuch as they 
would necessaril}' lessen importations into the 
Colonies, and thereb}- hurt her manufacturers, 
declaring at the same time that the Colonists 
would dispense wnth all luxuries and live on 
the necessaries which, he said, "are mostly to 
be had within ourselves." He also declared 
that the passage of the act would inevitably 
close the Courts, as the Colonists could not 
possibly comply with its provisions, and that 
if such a result followed, the merchants of 
Great Britain, trading to the Colonies, " would 
not be among the last to wish for a repeal of 
the act."'^' How much these merchants of 
Great Britain were interested in the matter, 
will appear from the following extract from 
William Cullen Bryant's recentl}' published 
Popular History of the United States :f 

"It is said that between 1765 and 1775, two- 

*\Vashington's Letters, Vol. II, 343. 
tVol. in, 331- 

8o A Colonial Officer 

thirds of the foreign commerce of Great Britain 
was that which she conducted with America. 
Between 1700 and 1760, the value of property 
in England increased fifty per cent., and Pitt 
declared this was wholl}^ due to the American 
Colonies. Speaking in 1766, he said, 'The 
profit to Great Britain from the Colonies is 
two millions a year. This is the fund that 
carried you triumphantly through the last war. 
You owe this to America.' Let it be remem- 
bered that Great Britain supplied three millions 
of people in America with almost every manu- 
factured article which the}^ needed ; that she 
received from her Colonies the tobacco, and 
much of the fish, indigo, rice, naval stores, and 
other productions which she required; that 
with her growing strength in the West Indies, 
she used her Colonies on the main-land to feed 
her islands, and it will be understood that 
English merchants, and those who had to deal 
with them in England, conceived high ideas of 
the wealth to be derived from America." 

It will, therefore, at once be seen from this 
statement, which is amply verified b}- all the 
authorities, that the Stamp Act was stupid and 
suicidal legislation, which provoked resistance, 
as well for commercial as for political reasons, 
both in Great Britain and in the Colonies. 
But the commercial reasons were the least pow- 
erful in the Colonies. It was the attempt to 

And His Times. 8i 

subvert their liberties which, if submitted to, 
would onl}^ lead to further aggressious, that 
roused the Americans to fury and united them 
in a determination to resist the enforcement of 
the act with all their power and at ever}^ hazard ; 
and, therefore, when certain intelligence of 
the final passage of it came, it produced a storm 
of angr}^ opposition, and nowhere more than 
in North Carolina. 

Tryon, in a letter to Conway, hereinafter 
given in full, says: 

"In obedience to his Majestj^'s commands, 
communicated to me b}^ the honor of your 
letter of the 12th of July last, it is with con- 
cern I acquaint you that the obstruction to the 
Stamp Act passed last session of Parliament, 
has been as general in this Province as in au}' 
Colon}' on the continent." 

And in all his letters to the home govern- 
ment he reiterates the statement in the strong- 
est language. 

The first Assembly after Tryon's accession 
had met on the 3d of May at Wilmington, and 
it w^as immediatel}' after their meeting, and 
before they had passed more than one or two 
acts, that intelligence of the passage of the 
Stamp x^ct by Parliament reached them. Tr3'on 

82 A Colonial Officer 

knew what the popular sentiment was, and in 
order to ascertain what would be the probable 
action of the Assembly, he had an interview 
with the Speaker, John Ashe, and asked him 
tlie question. 

Ashe's reply was, that the act " would be 
resisted to blood and death." Thereupon 
Tryon immediately issued a proclamation"' 
proroguing the Assembly to meet at Newbern 
November 30th.* He did not reall}^ intend, 
however, that it should re-assemble at that 
time unless the storm blew over; and after- 
wards, finding matters growing worse, he 
issued another proclamation ,t again proroguing 
the Assembly until March 12th, assigning as 
a reason that there appeared to be no imme^ 
diate necessity for their meeting in November. 
This proroguing of the Assembly on the iSth 
May, and again October 25th, prevented the 
election of delegates from North Carolina to 
what is known in history as the Stamp Act 
Congress — an explanation of the absence of 
such delegates which does not seem to have 
been known to the writers who have igno- 
rantly criticised the State for a want of spirit 

*May iSth, 1765. 
tOctober 2;lh. 

And His Times. 83 

at that time. But, although the Assembly 
was thus preveuted from meetiug aud giving 
expression to the public feeling, the people 
were not, and Colonel Hugh Waddell, though 
carrying the King's commission in his pocket, 
was one of the first to take the lead at Wil- 
mington in denouncing the Act, and express- 
ing a determination to resist it, in resolutions 
passed at public meetings held under the very 
nose of the Governor. These meetings were 
held in the summer of 1765, and were a part 
of the proceedings then going on in all the 
Colonies looking to the same end. But an 
event was soon to occur which — unknown to 
or ignored by some historians, and fixed at a 
wrong date by others — placed North Carolina 
at the head of the Colonies as offering the first 
armed resistance to the operation of the Stamp 
Act in America. In the other Colonies the 
feeling of resistance was as strong, and the 
demonstrations by the people were as earnest ; 
but although flags were half-masted, effigies 
burned, processions formed, and stamp-masters 
forced to resign, 710 open., anned resistance to 
an armed force occurred^ except on the Cape 
Fear River. 

This occurrence took place when the sloop 

84 A Colonial Officer 

of war Diligence arrived at Fort Johnston (now 
Southport) at the mouth of the river with the 
stamps. The arrival of the Diligence is, in all 
the histories except Moore's, stated to have 
occurred "in the first of the year," or " earl}^ 
in the year" 1766 — an error arising from the 
fact that Tryon's proclamation announcing 
her arrival was dated January 6th of that year. 
Moore's history places her arrival on the 28th 
September, 1765. The true date was Novem- 
ber 28th, 1765. 

On the 1 6th day of November,* the people, 
under the lead of Colonel John Ashe and 
others, went to Tryon's house and demanded 
William Houston (not James Houston, as 
invariably stated in every published account 
of the affair), who had been appointed stamp- 
master, and upon Tryon's refusal to surrender 
him they made preparations to burn the house. 
Tryon then requested Colonel Ashe to step in 
and talk with the stamp-master, which he did, 
and Houston, realizing his danger if he refused 
the demand made upon him to resign his office, 
agreed to accompan}- Colonel Ashe to the 
street, and, escorted thence b}^ a large crowd, 
they went to the Court-House and there, in 

*Tryon's letter to Hon. Seymour Conway, Feb. 29, 1766. 

And His Times. 85 

the presence of the Mayor and public officers, 
Houston took and subscribed the following 
oath : 

" I do hereby promise that I never will 
receive any stamp-paper which may arrive 
from Europe, in consequence of any act lately 
passed in the Parliament of Great Britain, nor 
officiate in any manner as stamp-master in the 
distribution of stamps within the Province of 
North Carolina, either directly or indirectly. 
I do hereby notify all the inhabitants of His 
Majesty's Province of North Carolina, that 
notwithstanding my having received informa- 
tion of my being appointed to said office of 
stamp-master, I will not apply hereafter for any 
stamp-paper, or to distribute the same until 
such time as it shall be agreeable to the inhabi- 
tants of this Province. 

'* Hereby declaring that I do execute these 
presents of my own free will and accord, with- 
out any equivocation or mental reservation 

"In witness hereof, I have hereunto set my 
hand this i6th November, 1765. ^ 

"William Houston.'""' 

Upon the taking and signing the oath by 
Houston, the crowd gave three cheers and then 

*Tryon's dispatch, Dec. 26th. 

86 A Colonial Officer 

Twelve days afterward the />///f'r//rr arrived 
in the Cape Fear river with the stamps, and 
the welcome which awaited her captain must 
have astonished him. His name was Phipps, 
and his vessel was a twenty-gun sloop of war, 
which was cruising off the coast of Virginia 
and the Carolinas. He brought the stamps 
from \'irginia, whither they had been sent 
from England, and, doubtless, anticipated no 
trouble whatever in delivering them to the 
Collector of the port of Brunswick. The idea 
of resistance of au}' kind probably never 
occurred to him, and a suggestion of armed 
defiance on the part of the people on shore 
would have seemed the wildest absurdity to a 
commander of one of His Majesty's war-ships. 

Comfortably pacing his deck as the gallant 
sloop, with colors flying and all her canvass 
set, glided curtseying across the bar like a 
fine lady entering a drawing-room, the Captain 
was doubtless already enjoying in anticipation 
the sideboard and table refreshments that 
awaited him in the hospitable mansions of the 
Cape Fear planters, and eager to stand, gun 
in hand, by one of the tall pines of Brunswick 
and watch the coming of the antlered monarch 
of the forest before the inspiring music of the 

And His Times. 87 

As the Dilioour bowls along ''with a bone 
ill her mouth '' across the ruffled bosom of the 
beautiful bay into which the river expands 
opposite Fort Johnston, a puff of white smoke 
leaps from her port quarter followed by a roar 
of salutation from one of her guns ; an answer- 
ing thunder of welcome comes from the fort, 
and the proud ship walks the waters towards 
the town of Brunswick, eight miles farther up 
the river towards Wilmington. An hour later 
she sights the town, and a little while after- 
wards, with a graceful sweep and a rushing 
keel, she gradualh' puts her nose in the wind 
as if scenting trouble; and then, at the shrill 
sound of the boatswain's whistle, the growling 
chains release the anchor from its long sus- 
pense, and the Diligence rests opposite to the 
Custom House of Brunswick, with her grin- 
ning port-holes open and all her guns exposed. 
Then her rigging blocks chuckle as she lowers 
and clews her sails, and she rides at her moor- 
ings beneath the flag of the Mistress of the 

The Captain at once observes that the little 
town seems to be unusuall}' lively and expect- 
ant. He soon discovers the cause. A con- 
siderable bod}^ of armed men occupy the streets 
and line the shore. Presentl}' he is informed 

88 A Colonial Officer 

that Colonel Hugh Waddell, an experienced 
soldier, who had been on the lookout for the 
Diligence with the militia of Brunswick County, 
had notified Colonel Ashe of New Hanover of 
his movements, and these two gentlemen, with 
the armed militia of both counties, confronted 
him and informed him that they would resist 
the landing of the stamps and would fire on 
any one attempting it. 

Here was one of His Majesty's twenty-gun 
sloops of war openly defied and threatened by 
British subjects armed and drawn up in battle 
array! Here was treason, open, flagrant and 
in the broad light of day — treason, armed and 
led by the most distinguished soldier of the 
Province and the Speaker of the Assembly ! 

The Captain of the Diligence prudently con- 
cluded that it would be folly to attempt to land 
the stamps in the face of such a threat, backed 
by such force, and promised a compliance with 
the demands of the people. The " Sons of 
Liberty," as they were afterwards called, then 
seized one of the boats of the Diligence^ and 
leaving a guard at Brunswick marched with 
it mounted on a cart to Wilmington, where 
there was a triumphal procession through the 
streets, and at night a general illumination of 
the town. 

And His Times. 89 

"And this," said an eloqnent North Caro- 
linian, "was more than ten years before the 
Declaration of Independence, and more than 
nine before the battle of Lexington, and nearly 
eight 3'ears before the Boston 'Tea Party/ 
The destrnction of the tea was done in the 
night by men in disguise. And history blazons 
it, and New England boasts of it, and the fame 
of it is world-wide. But this other act, more 
gallant and daring, done in open day by well- 
known men, with arms in their hands, and 
under the King's flag — who remembers, or 
who tells of it."=^= 

Contemplating this act, and man}- other 
kindred ones done b}- her sons, well did the 
orator ask, "When will history do justice to 
North Carolina?" 

It being the dut}' of Governor Tr3^on, as a 
matter of course, to report all this business to 
the home government, he determined to say 
nothing about the armed resistance to the 
Diligence^ but to report onh^ the facts in regard 
to the compulsion of the Stamp-Master to 
resign, and to explain the failure to land the 
stamps b}- the assertion that, as there was no 

*Hon. George Davis, Address at the University of N. C.^ 
June, 1855. 

90 A Colonial Officer 

one to distribute them, he directed tlicin to be 
kept on board that vessel. The humiliation 
to which he had been subjected in his own 
house in which Houston had taken refuge (of 
which fact he likewise avoided all mention), 
was sufficienth' galling, without adding an 
account of it, or of the armed defiance of one 
of His ^Iajest3''s men-of-war by the same peo- 
ple. Besides, as appears from his conduct and 
his dispatch to Conway-, he was anxious to 
smooth over the trouble and conciliate the 
people, whose good will he desired to cultivate, 
whose condition he knew to be depressed, and 
whose spirit he was obliged to respect. Indeed, 
the whole tone of the dispatch was deprecatory- 
and regretful, and justifies the suspicion that 
Tryon sympathized with those who regarded 
the Stamp Act as most unwise and oppressive 
legislation, although his position was such as 
to prevent him from openly sa3'ing so. This 
dispatch which, like the others in his letter- 
book, has never been published up to the time 
when these pages are written, is here given in 
full, so far as it relates to the event above 

And His Timhs. 91 

Brunswick 26 Deer 1765. 
" The Right Ifou'ble H\v Seymour Co7tiv.ay 

111 obedience to His Majesty's commands 
conimnnicated to me by the honor of your 
letter of the 12th of July last, it is with con- 
cern I acquaint you that the obstruction to the 
Stamp Act passed last session of Parliament 
has been as general in this province as in any 
Colony on the continent, tho' their irregular 
proceedings have been attended with no mis- 
chief, or are by any means formidable. I am 
much of the opinion that whatever measures 
are prescribed and enforced b}^ his Majesty's 
authority to the more formidable Colonies to 
the Northward will meet with a ready acqui- 
esence in the Southern provinces, without the 
necessity of any military force. The first 
intelligence of the general alarm which was 
spread against the Stamp Act in this Colony 
was in October last, at a time I lay extremely 
ill of the fevers of this country, which with 
repeated relapses I have experienced these 
five months past. I was very impatient to 
seize the first opportunity to communicate my 
sentiments to the merchants of New Hanover 
and Brunswick Counties, who are the persons 
that carr}' on the commerce of Cape Fear River 
(and where I imagined the stamps would arrive) 
on the then situation of public affairs. On the 
1 8th November near fifty of the above gentle- 
men waited on me to dinner when I urged to 
them the expediency of permitting the circu- 
lation of the stamps, but as my health at that 

9-2 A Colonial Officer 

time would not allow me to write down an}^ 
speech I must beg leave to refer 3'ou, Sir, to 
the enclosed Carolina Gazette of the 27th Novr 
in which \^ou will find nearly the substance of 
what I declared and proposed to the above 
gentlemen. Their answer and my replj^ are 

Two days before the above meeting, Mr. 
Houston the Distributor of the stamps was 
compelled in the Court House in Wilmington 
and in the presence of the Mayor and some 
Aldermen to resign his office. The stamps 
arrived the 28th of November last in his 
Majesty's Sloop, the Diligence Capt Phipps 
commander, but as there was no Distributor 
or other officer of the stamps in this countr}^ 
after Air. Houston's resignation the stamps 
still remain on board the said ship. No ves- 
sels have been cleared out since the first of 
November from this river or from anv other in 
this province that I have received intelligence 
of. Some merchants from Wilmington applied 
to me for certificates for their ships, specif^ang 
that no stamps were to be had, which I declined 
granting, referring them to the officers of his 
Majesty's Customs. The}' have been as assidu- 
ous in obstructing the reception of the stamps 
as any of the inhabitants. 

No business is transacted in the Courts of 
Judicature, tho' the Courts have been regularly 
opened and all civil government is now at a 
stand. This stagnation of all public business 
and commerce under the low circumstances of 

And HivS Tiimks. 93 

the inhabitants mnst be attended with fatal 
conseqnences to this colon}^ if it snbsists but 
for a few months longer. There is little or no 
specie circulating in the maritime Counties of 
this province, and what is in circulation in the 
back Counties is so ver}^ inconsiderable that 
the Attorne}' General assures me that the 
stamp duties on the instruments used in the 
five Superior Courts of this province would in 
one year require all the specie in the country ; 
the business which is likewise transacted in 
the twenty nine inferior, or County Courts, 
the many instruments which pass through the 
Sheriffs' hands and other civil officers ; those in 
the Land Office, and many other instruments 
used in transactions of public business were 
the reasons which induced me to believe the 
operation in all its parts impracticable, and 
which likewise prompted me to make my pro- 
posals for the ease and convenience of the 
People, and to endeavor to reconcile them to 
this Act of Parliament. 

On the 20th of last month I opened and pro- 
claimed my commission at Wilmington, when 
I consulted his Majesty's Council if au}^ 
measures could be proposed to induce the 
people to receive the stamps. They were 
unanimously of opinion that nothing further 
could be done than what I have alread}^ offered. 

I have his Majestj^'s writs for a new election 
of Assembly, but shall not meet them till next 
April at Newbern — '''■'' '' '''' '=' 
I am. Sir &c 

Wm Tryon" 

94 A Colonial Offickr 

Not long after this event, and in pnrsnance 
of the same purpose of resisting the Stamp 
Act in every way — even to the point of arrest- 
ing and punishing the Captain of a war-vessel 
himself, if necessary — another very lively inci- 
dent occurred on the Cape Fear which aston- 
ished and infuriated Tryon and his friends, 
and added greatly to his already sore humilia- 
tion ; but it was no more than might have been 
expected, after the resistance to the landing of 
the stamps and the previous exaction of the 
oath from Houston on the i6th November. 

Early in February, and while the men-of- 
war Viper and Diligence were still lying in 
the river off Brunswick, two merchant vessels, 
the Dobbs and the Patience, the one from St. 
Christophers and the other from Philadelphia, 
arrived. The Collector of the port, Colonel 
Wm. Dry, upon examining their clearance 
papers, ascertained that there were no stamps 
attached to them, as required by the provisions 
of the Stamp Act, and, as was doubtless his 
duty, he took the papers and reported the facts 
to the Captain of the Viper, Captain Jacob 
Lobb. Captain Lobb immediately seized the 
vessels, regardless of the assurances of their 
Captains that it was impossible for them to 
comply with the law, for tlie reason that when 

Axi) Hi.s TiMKS. 95 

they left Philadelphia and St. Christophers no 
stamps could be obtained. As soon as it 
became known that these vessels had been 
seized under such circumstances there was 
great excitement, and the news spread with 
such rapidity that very soon five hundred and 
eighty armed men, besides one hundred with- 
out arms, were assembled and Colonel Hugh 
Waddell was chosen as their commander. 

What followed is told in detail by Governor 
Trj'on in his dispatches to the home govern- 
ment, and, as this narrative has never been 
published, it is here given, as taken from his 
letter-book now in the Kxecutive Department 
at Raleigh. There are some facts which were 
suppressed by Tr3^on in this narrative, just as 
he suppressed all mention of the resistance to 
the landing of the stamps on the 28th Novem- 
ber, supplying the omission with the general 
statement that as Houston had resigned, "the 
stamps still remain on board the said ship;" 
but as the omissions in his account of the 
affair are not important, the narrative is given 
as he wrote it, as follows: 

g6 A Colonial Offickr 

T/ie Right Honorable Henry Scynwnr Conway^ 
Esq.^ one of his Majesty s Principal Secreta- 
ries of State : 

Brunswick, the 25th February, 1766. 
Sir, As I wish to give 3-011 as particular a 
relation for his Majesty's information as I 
possibl}^ can of an illegal assembly of men in 
arms, assembled at Brunswick on the 19th 
inst. I have collected all the letter correspond- 
ence that has come to my knowledge, previous 
to the 19th inst. during the time the men 
remained in arms, as well as after the\^ dis- 

In this letter I shall chiefl}^ confine m3^self 
to the narrations of the actions and conduct of 
the bod}^ assembled, desiring leave to refer 3'ou 
to the letters as the3' occur in point of order, 
and time. 

The Seizures Capt. Lobb made of the Dobbs 
and Patience sloops, (as b3' his letter to the 
collector for taking the papers and the Attor- 
ne3' General's opinion taken thereon) was an 
affair I did not interfere with ; In the first 
instance I never was applied to, and in the 
second, I thought it rested with Capt. Lobb. 
On the 1 6th in the evening Mr. Dry, the 
Collector, waited on me with a letter he received 
dated from Wilmington the 15th of Februar3- 
1766 and at the same time informed me he had 
sent the subscribers word he should wait on 
them the next da3'. I strongl3' recommended 
him to put the papers belonging to the Patience 
Sloop on board the Viper (those of the Dobbs 

And His Times. 97 

had some time before been given np to the 
owner on his delivering security for them) as 
I apprehended, I said, those very subscribers 
would compel him to give them up ; His answer 
was "They might take them from him but he 
would never give them up without Capt. Lobb\s 
order." The weather on the 17th prevented 
Mr. Dry from going to Wilmington till the 

next day. 

The next intelligence I received was in the 
dusk of the evening of the 19th soon after 6 
oVlock by letter delivered me by Mr. George 
jMoore and Mr. Cornelius Harnett bearing date 
the 19th and signed "John Ashe, Thomas 
Lloyd, Alexander UHington." My letter of 
the same night directed "to the Commanding 
Officer either of the Viper or Diligence Sloops 
of War" will explain the opinion I entertained 
of the offer made of a guard of gentlemen, and 
my declaration to the detachment I found sur- 
rounding my house. This letter my servant 
about three m the morning put on board the 
Diligence who lay moored opposite to my house 
at the distance of four or five hundred yards, 
and returned to me again in a short space of 
time with Capt. Phipps letter in answer. Soon 
after I had put up the lights required Capt. 
Phipps came himself on shore to me, the guards 
having quitted the posts they had taken round 
the house, and on the beach : With a most 
generous warmth and zeal Capt. Phipps offered 
me every service his ship or himself could 
afford. 1 assured him the services I wished to 

98 A Colonial Officer 

receive from his Majesty's sloops consisted 
wholly in the protection of the Fort. That as 
Capt. Dalrymple had but five men in garrison 
to defend eight eighteen pounders, eight nine 
pounders, and twenty three swivel guns all 
mounted and fit for service together with a 
considerable quantity of amunition, I wrote an 
order to Capt. Dalrymple " to obe\' all orders 
he might receive from the Commanding Officer 
either of the Viper or Diligence sloops of war," 
and desired Capt. Phipps would send it to the 
Fort. I made it so general because Capt. 
Phipps told me neither of the Sloops had a 
pilot then on board, and that it was uncertain 
which ship could first get down to the Fort 
distant four leagues from where the ships then 
lay off Brunswick ; Capt. Phipps after a sta}- 
on shore of about ten minutes returned on 
board the Diligence. 

On the 20th about 12 o'clock at noon Capt. 
Lobb sent to desire I would meet him on board 
the Diligence, which request I immediatel}' 
complied with and at the same time the Col- 
lector Mr. Dry came on board. There were 
then present, the Captains Lobb and Phipps, 
Mr. McGwire, Vice Judge of the Admiralty, 
the Collector, and myself. Capt. Lobb told me 
he had had a committee from the inhabitants 
in arms on board his ship, that they demanded 
the possession of the sloops he had seized and 
that he was to give them his answer in the 
afternoon. Mr. Dry the Collector informed me 
that his desk was broke open on the 19th in 

And Hls Times. 99 

the evening and the unstampt papers belong- 
ing to the Patience and Rnby sloops forcibly 
taken from him. He said he knew most of 
the persons that came into his lionse at that 
time but he did not see who broke open the 
desk and took out the papers. Capt. Lobb 
seemed not satisfied with the legality of his 
seizure of the Rub}' sloop (seized subsequent 
to the papers that were sent to the Attorney 
General for his opinion, on the Dobbs and 
Patience) and declared he would return her to 
the master or owner; but that he would insist 
on the papers belonging to the Patience being 
returned, which were taken from the Collectors 
desk, and that he would not give up the Sloop 
Patience. I approved of these resolutions and 
desired that he M'ould not in the conduct of 
this affair consider ni}- family, myself or my 
property, that I was greatl}^ solicitous for the 
honor of government and his IMajesty's interest 
in the present exigency, and particular!}' 
recommended to him the protection of Fort 
Johnston. I then returned on shore. In the 
evening Capt Phipps waited on me from on 
board the Viper, and acquainted me that all 
was settled; that Capt Lobb had given his 
consent for the owners to take possession of 
the Sloops Rub}' and Patience, as the copy of 
Capt Lobbs orders for that purpose will declare. 
This report was not consistent with the 
determinations I concluded Capt Lobb left the 
Diligence in, when I met him according to his 
appointment but a few hours before. 

loo A Colonial Officer 

To be regular in point of time I must now 
speak of some further conduct of the inhabi- 
tants in arms, who were continual!}- coming 
into Brunswick from different counties. This 
same evening of the 20th inst. Mr. Penning- 
ton, his Majesty's Comptroller came to let me 
know there had been a search after him, and 
as he guessed they w-anted him to do some act 
that would be inconsistent with the duty of his 
office, he came to acquaint me with this enquir}- 
and search. I told him I had a bed at his ser- 
vice, and desired he would remain with me. 
The next morning the 21st about eight o'clock, 
I saw Mr. Pennington going from ni}- house 
with Col James Moore. I called him back, 
and as Col Moore returned with him I desired 
to know if he had au}- business with Mr. Pen- 
nington. He said the gentlemen assembled 
wanted to speak with him. I desired Col. 
]\Ioore would inform the gentlemen, Mr. Pen- 
nington, his Majesty's Comptroller, I had 
occasion to employ on dispatches for his 
Majesty's service, therefore could not part with 
him. Col Moore then went away and in five 
minutes afterwards I found the avenues to ni}- 
house again shut up b}' different parties of 
armed men. Soon after the following note was 
sent and the answer annexed returned : 


"The Gentlemen assembled for the redress 
"of grievances desirous of seeing Mr. Pen- 
"nington to speak with him sent Col Moore 
"to desire his attendance, and understand that 

And His Times. ioi 

''he was stayed by your Excellency, they 
"therefore request that your Excellency will 
"be pleased to let him attend, otherwise it will 
" not be in the power of the Directors appointed, 
''to prevent the ill consequences that may 
" attend a refusal. They don't intend the least 
"injury to Mr. Pennington." 

Friday the 2ist February 1766. 

To His Excellency. 

The Answer. 

"Mr Pennington being employed by his 
"Excellency on dispatches for his Majesty's 
"service, any gentleman that may have busi- 
"ness with him may see him at the Governor's 

2ist February 1766 

It was about 10 o'clock when I observed a body 
of men in arms, from four to five hundred, move 
towards the house. A detachment of sixty 
men came down the avenue, and the main body 
drew up in front, in sight, and within three 
hundred yards of the house. Mr. Harnett, a 
representative in the Assembly for Wilming- 
ton, came at the head of the detachment, and 
sent a message to speak with Mr Pennington. 
When he came into the house he told Mr. 
Pennington the gentlemen wanted him. I 
answered, Mr. Pennington came into my house 
for refuge, he was a Crown Officer, and as such 
I would give him all the protection my roof, 

I02 . A Colonial Officer 

and the dignity of the character I held in this 
province, conld afford him. Mr. Harnett hoped 
I wonld let him go, a.s the people were deter- 
mined to take him ont of the honse if he shonld 
be longer detained; an insnlt he said the}- 
wished to avoid offering to me: An insiilt, I 
replied, that would not tend to any great con- 
sequence, after they had already offered every 
insult the}- could offer, by investing my house, 
and making me in effect a prisoner before any 
grievance, or oppression, had been first repre- 
sented to me. Mr. Pennington grew very 
uneasy, said he would choose to go to the gen- 
tlemen; I again repeated my offers of protec- 
tion, if he chose to stay. He declared, and 
desired I would remember, that whatever oaths 
might be imposed on him, he should consider 
them as acts of compulsion and not of free will ; 
and further added that he would rather resign 
his ofiice than do any act contrary to his duty. 
If that was his determination, I told him, he 
had better resign before he left me. Mr. 
Harnett interposed, with saying he hoped he 
would not do that: I enforced the recommen- 
dation for resignation. He consented, paper 
was brought, and his resignation executed, and 
received. I then said, Mr. Pennington, now 
sir, you may go; Mr. Harnett went out with 
him; the detachment retired to the town. Mr. 
Pennington afterwards informed me, they got 
him in the midst of them when Mr. \\'ard, 
master of the Patience, asked him to enter his 
sloop. Mr. Pennington assured him he could 

And His Timks. 103 

not, as he had resigned his office. He was 
afterwards obliged to take an oath that he 
wonld never issne any stamped paper in this 
province. The above oath the Collector 
informed me he was obliged to take, as were 
all the clerks of the Connt}- Courts, and other 
public officers. The inhabitants, having re- 
dressed after the manner described their griev- 
ances complained of, left the town of Brunswick 
about I o'clock on the 21st. In the evening I 
went on board the A^iper and acquainted Capt 
Lobb I apprehended the conditions he had 
determined to abide by when I left the Dili- 
gence, were different to the concessions he had 
made to the committee appointed for the redress 
of grievances : That I left the Diligence in the 
full persuasion he was to demand a restitution 
of the papers or clearances of the Patience 
sloop, and not to give up the possession of that 
vessel : That I found he had given up the 
sloop Patience, and himself not in possession 
of the papers. He answered " As to the papers, 
" he had attested copies of them, and as to 
" the sloop, he had done no more than what 
" he had offered before this disturbance hap- 
" pened at Brunswick." I could not help 
owning I thought the detaining the Patience 
became a point that concerned the honor of 
government, and that I found my situation 
ver}^ unpleasant, as most of the people by 
going up to Wilmington in the sloops would 
remain satisfied and report thro' the province, 
tlie}^ had obtained ever}- point the}' came to 

I04 A Colonial Officer 

redress, while at the same time I had the mor- 
tification to be informed his Majest\^'s ordnance 
at Fort Johnston was spiked. This is the sub- 
stance of what passed on board the \^iper. On 
the 2 2d Capt. Phipps accompanied me to Fort 
Johnston, where I found Capt Dalr3anple sick 
in bed, two men only in garrison, and all the 
cannon that were mounted, spiked with nails. 
I gave orders for the nails to be immediately 
drilled out, which will be executed without 
prejudice to the pieces. I returned to Bruns- 
wick in the evening, and the next morning sent 
my letter bearing date the 23d to Capt. Lobb 
to desire his reasons for spiking the cannon 
&c. He returned me his reasons for this con- 
duct by letter the 24th inst. 

Capt Lobb's complaint relative to the pro- 
visions for his Majesty's sloops being stopt at 
Wilmington with the contractor's certificate of 
the manner of this restraint and ni}- letter to 
the Mayor of Wilmington to require his assist- 
ance in furnishing the provision demanded, wnll 
be fully, I hope, understood by that correspon- 

By the best accounts I have received the 
number of this insurrection amounted to 580 
men in arms, and upwards of 100 unarmed. 
The Mayor and Corporation of Wilmington 
and most all of the gentlemen and planters of 
the counties of Brunswick, New Hanover, 
Duplin, and Bladen, with some masters of 
vessels, composed this corps. I am informed 
and believe the majority of this association 

And His Times. 105 

were either compelled into this service or were 
ignorant what their grievances were. I except 
the principals. I have enclosed a copy of the 
association formed to oppose the Stamp Act. 

Thns, Sir, I have endeavored to lay before 
yon the first springs of this disturbance as well 
as the particular conduct of the parties con- 
cerned in it; and I have done this as much as 
I possibly could without prejudice, or passion, 
favor or affection. I should be extremely glad 
if 3'ou, Sir, could honor me with his Majesty's 
commands in the present exigenc}^ of affairs 
in this colony and in the mean time will study 
to conduct myself with the assistance of his 
Majesty's Council in such manner as will best 
secure the safety and honor of government and 
the peace of the inhabitants of this province. 

I am, Sir, with all possible respect and 

Copies of Letters and papers referred to in 
the preceding letter : 


Viper, Cape Fear, 14th Januarj^, 1766. 

As the Sloops Dobbs and Patience not having 
their clearances on stampt paper according to 
act of Parliament I have detained them, and 
herewith you will receive the papers in order 
to their being prosecuted in the Court of Ad- 


io6 A Colonial Officer 

iiiiralty as I am directed by the commissioners 
of the Customs, I am Sir, 

Your humble servant, 

Jacob Lobb. 
William Dry, Esq. 

(COPY. ) 

Custom House, Port Brunswick, 

1 6th January 1766. 
Dear Sir, 

By instruction from the Surveyor General, 
I am ordered in case any of the Men of War 
should make any seizures to receive the cause 
of seizure and her papers from them and to 
transmit them to you for your opinion which 
I am to be ruled by whether to prosecute or 

This therefore serves to enclose j^ou the 
papers of two vessels, one from Philadelphia 
the other from St. Christophers which Capt. 
Lobb hath seized for not having Stampt Papers 
as you'll see by his letter to me here enclosed. 
The papers are in separate packets, the one 
parcell are copies of the originals and the 
others are the original papers which Mr. 
Quince desired I might send as belonging to 
his vessel; all which I must entreat the favor 
of you to look over and to return me your 
opinion by this express which I send on pur- 
pose. I beg the messenger maj^ be dispatched. 
I am Dear Sir, 

Your most obedient servant, 

William Dry. 

Robert Jones Jun. Esq. 

And His Timp:s. 107 

(copy. ) 

OccANECHV 3d Februar}^ 1766. 
Dear Sir, 

I received yours of the i6th ult. pr. your 
messeuger, & have perused the papers sent 
therewith, from whence I have made a state of 
the case you desire to be advised about, as it 
occurs to me, and subjoined to it my opinion 
in full, both which you will receive enclosed. 
As matters are circumstanced I think 3^ou 
ought to proceed in prosecuting both vessels, 
lest your neglect should be deemed a con- 
nivance at the opposition made to the Stamp 
Act, which in an officer of the Crown probably 
may be thought worthy of censure. 

Pray let Mr. Quince have a sight of the 
Case and my opinion, as by my letter to him 
I have referred him to you for that purpose. 

I was from home when the messenger came 
and did not return till last night which occa- 
sioned his tarrying. 
I am, 

Dear Sir, 
Your most obedt & very hum: servant 
Robert Jones, Jun. 

P. S. The Act does not require that Reg- 
isters should be on Stampt paper. 

To the Honble William Dry, Esq. 

State of the case relative to the Sloops Dobbs 
and Patience, lately arrived in Cape Fear 
River, the one from Philadelphia, the other 
from St. Christophers. 

io8 A Colonial Officer 

It is supposed that no Stampt Paper could 
be procured b}' the Officers of the Customs 
in the ports from whence the said vessels 
sailed, therefore the Captains obtained clear- 
ances, certificates, &c. on common paper and 
proceeded to Cape Fear, where they are seized 
by Capt Lobb, Commander of His Majesty's 
Sloop Viper, who makes information to the 
Collector of the Port, requiring him to com- 
mence prosecutions against them. 

Quere i. Is failing to obtain Clearances &c. 
on stampt paper a proper cause for seizing 
the said vessels and to be considered as a neg- 
lect of the duties required by the Acts of 
Trade sufficient to induce a Court of Admi- 
ralty to decree vessels and cargoes forfeited ? 

2. Upon proof being made that it was im- 
possible to obtain Clearances &c on Stampt 
Paper of the officers of the customs in the ports 
from whence the said vessels sailed, will it not 
be a sufficient cause to induce the Court to 
decree in favor of the owners of the said ves- 
sels ? 

3. If it is necessary to prosecute on Capt 
Lobbs information, must the prosecution be 
commenced in the Court of Admiralty at Cape 
Fear, or must the said vessels be sent to Hali- 
fax in order to be libelled ? 

In answer to the first question. — The Clear- 
ances &c being on common paper it is the same 
as if these vessels had sailed without clearances, 
and of course they are liable to be seized, and 

And His Times. 109 

I think condemned by a Conrt of Admiralty 
with their cargoes. 

2d. Reason does not reqnire impossibilities 
and Courts of Admiralty often decree favorabl}^ 
on the part of the owners of vessels and car- 
goes where it does not appear that any fraud 
was intended to the crown ; especially where 
all has been done that it was in the power of 
the Captains or ow^ners of vessels to do; but 
the Captains of these vessels seem to me to 
have been guilty of great neglect. They 
should have tendered the Kings duties to the 
officers of the customs and demanded proper 
clearances &c. and on being refused they 
should have made the like tender to a Notarj^ 
Public and offered a protest. Had these mat- 
ters been complied with so as to be duly proved 
on a trj^al, I should think the Judge would 
decree that the vessels and cargoes were not 

3. If prosecutions are intended against these 
vessels, they must be sent to Halifax, for 
should they be libelled here, and the proceed- 
ings carried on upon common paper, such 
proceedings will be mere nullities and not alter 
the property either of the vessels or cargoes. As 
to the provision in the Stamp Act that penal- 
ties should be sued for where offences against 
that act are committed, that must be under- 
stood of pecuniar}^ penalties specified in the 
said Act, and can have no relation to matters 
mentioned in the above case. Upon the whole 

no A Colonial Officer 

it is my opinion that it is the duty of the Col- 
lector to prosecute on the informations received. 

Robert Jones Jun. 


19th February 1766. 

The Inhabitants dissatisfied with the par- 
ticular restrictions laid on the trade of this 
river only, have determined to march to Bruns- 
wick in hopes of obtaining in a peaceable man- 
ner, a redress of their grievances from the 
Commanding Officer of his Alajesty's ships, 
and have compelled us to conduct them ; We 
therefore think it our duty to acquaint 3'Our 
Excellency, that we are fullj^ determined to 
protect from insult your person and property, 
and that if it will be agreeable to your Excel- 
lency, a guard of gentlemen shall be imme- 
diately detached for that purpose. 

We have the honor to be with the greatest 

Your Excellency's most obedient 
Humble servants, 
John Ashe, 
Thos. Loyd, 
Alex. Lillington. 
To His Excellency AVilliam Tr^'on, Esq. 

And His Timks. m 


Brunswick 19th February 1766. 

Eleven at Night 


Between the hours of six and seven o clock 

this evening, Mr. George Moore and Mr. Cor- 
nelius Harnett waited on me at my house, and 
delivered to me a letter signed by three gen- 
tlemen. The inclosed is a copy from the 
original. I told Mr. Moore and Mr. Harnett, 
tha't as I had no fears or apprehensions for my 
person or property, I wanted no guard, there- 
fore desired the gentlemen might not come to 
give their protection where it was not neces- 
sary or required, and that I would send the 
gentlemen an answer in writing tomorrow 
morning. Mr. Moore and Mr. Harnett might 
stay about five or six minutes in my house, 
Instantly after their leaving me, I found my 
house surrounded with armed men to the 
number I estimate at one hundred and fifty. 
I had some altercation with some of the gen- 
tlemen who informed me their business was to 
see Capt Lobb whom they were informed was 
at my house ; Capt Paine then desired me to 
give my word and honor whether Capt Lobb 
was in my house or not. I positively refused 
to make any such declaration, but as they had 
force in their hands I said they might brake 
open my locks and force my doors. This 
they declared they had no intention of doing; 
just after this and other discourse they got 
intelligence that Capt Lobb was not in my 

112 A Colonial Officer 

house. The majorit}^ of the men in arms then 
went towards the town of Brunswick and left 
a number of men to watch the avenues of ni}^ 
house, therefore think it doubtful if I can get 
this letter safel}^ conveyed. 

I esteem it my dut}^, Sir, to inform you as 
Fort Johnston has but one officer, and five men 
in garrison, the Fort will stand in need of all 
the assistance the Viper and Diligence Sloops 
can give the Commanding Officer there, should 
any insult be offered to his Majesty's fort or 
stores, in which case it is my duty to request 
of you to repel force with force ; and to take 
on board his Majesty's sloops so much of his 
Majesty's ordnance, stores and ammunition, 
out of the said fort as you shall think neces- 
sary for the benefit of the service. 
I am Sir, 

Your most humble servant, 

(Signed) Wu. Tryon. 

To the Commanding Officer either of the Viper 

or Diligence Sloops of War. 

(copy. ) 


I have received your Excellency's favor and 
am much concerned at the uneasiness this 
accident will have given 3'ou. I have been 
disappointed in two attempts to see 3'our Ex- 
cellency to-night, one very earl}^ tother late. 
I had immediatel}^, upon hearing two hundred 
men were gone down, sent Lieut Calder with 
five men and spikes for the guns if Capt Dal- 
rymple thought them necessar\', and to give 

And His Timks. 113 

him any other assistance that was necessary. 
I believe they were down in time. I hope if 
this gets safe your Excellency will let me 
know it by showing a light in each of the 
middle windows above stairs. If I see that 
signal I will inform your Excellency of the 
success of my boat by hauling down the pen- 
dant at sunrise or soon after. Capt Lobb 
received a deputation to desire he would come 
on shore, which he refused. 

I am, your Excellency's most obedient 
And most humble servant, 

C. J. Phipps. 
To His Excellency Governor Tryon, &c. &c. 



You will obey all orders you may receive 
either from the Commanding Officer of the 
Viper or Diligence sloops of war. 
I am 

Your very humble servant, 

(Signed) Wm. Tryon. 

19 February 1776. 
To Capt. Dalrymple. 


Viper Sloop, Cape Fear, 

20 February 1766. 


Not thinking it proper to detain the Sloop 
Ruby any longer, desire you will deliver her 

114 A Colonial Officer 

to the proper master, Mr. Horner, for which 
this shall be a sufficient warrant. 
I am Sir, 

Your most humble servant, 

Jacob Lobb. 
To William Dry, Esq. 

Collector for Brunswick. 


Viper Sloop, Cape Fear, 

20 Feb'y 1766. 

As there is perishable commodities on board 
the Sloop Patience, detained by me, you may^ 
if you think it consistent with your duty, 
deliver up the same with the Vessel and cargoe 
upon sufficient security for them. 
I am Sir, 

Your very humble servant, 

Jacob Lobb. 
To William Dry, Esq. 

Collector at Brunswick. 


Brunswick, 23d February 1766. 

I was yesterday with Capt. Phipps at Fort 
Johnston where I found twenty three swivel 
guns, eight eighteen pounders and eight nine 
pounders spiked. I demanded of Capt. Dal- 
rymple, the Commanding Officer, his authority 
for spiking the cannon. He produced ^-our 
order and said Lieut. Calder of the Diligence^ 

And His TimKvS. 115 

in consequence of it, spiked the above cannon. 
As I nnderstand yonr midshipman was yes- 
terday disappointed in getting copies of my 
instructions to Capt. Dalrymple, and yonr 
order to him, I insert them both, Vidt. 


" You will obey all orders you ma}^ receive 
" either from the Commanding Officer of the 
'* Viper or Diligence Sloops of War." 
I am, &c. 

Wm. Tryon. 
19 February 1766. 
To Capt. Dalrymple. 

" I think its necessary at this time, you will 
" render the guns at Fort Johnston unservice- 
*' able, as there is a number of men which 
"intend insulting his Majesty's ships in this 
" river. I am 

" Your humble Servant, 

"Jacob Lobb." 

I must observe that the reason you gave in 
this order, is totally contrary to everj^ senti- 
ment I entertained, as I hope my letter of the 
19th, delivered to you by Lieut. Calder will 
justify, directed to the Commanding Officer 
either of the Viper or Diligence Sloops of War, 
as well as my conversation on board the Dili- 
gence on the 20th where you desired I would 
meet you. I never had a suspicion that it was 
in the power of the persons assembled in arms 
to insult his Majesty's ships in this river. The 
object of my consideration was the protection 

ii6 A Colonial Officer 

of the fort. I therefore wish to receive from 
you the reasons why you thought the spiking 
of the guns a necessary step to prevent his 
Majesty's ships from being insulted, or what 
other motives you had for ordering the guns 
to be spiked. This request I make that I may 
be furnished with the proper causes for such a 
proceeding, in order to transmit them to his 
Majesty's Principal Secretary of State with 
my other dispatches. 
I am, &c. Sir, 

Your most humble servant, 

(Signed) Wm. Tryon. 

To Capt. Lobb. 


Viper Sloop, Brunswick, 

The 24th Feb'r}^, 1766. 

I received j^our Excellency's Letter of the 
23d inst. desiring me to give j^our Excellency 
my reasons for ordering the guns at Fort 
Johnston to be spiked. Pursuant to 3'our Ex- 
cellency's letter of the 19th inst. signifj-ing to 
me that as Fort Johnston had but one officer 
and five men in garrison and of its standing 
in need of all the assistance the Viper and 
Diligence could give the commanding offtcer 
there, should any insult be offered to his 
Majesty's fort, or stores, and likewise 3'our 
Excellency's request to repel force with force, 
I, on information the same evening from Lieut. 
Calder, corroborated b}' that of several other 

And His Times. 117 

gentlemen, that a party of men, consisting of 
three or four hundred, under the command of 
Col. Waddell, were on their march to Fort 
Johnston in order to take possession of it, as 
there was no possibilit}^ of getting the ships 
down, being night and no pilots to be had 
early enough to prevent their making their 
quarters good, sent Lieut. Calder in a boat 
with your Excellency's order addrest to Capt. 
Dalrymple commanding that he should comply 
with any orders he should receive from myself 
or Capt. Phipps, with one from me to render 
the cannon unserviceable by spiking them up, 
to the end of facilitating our repossession as 
soon as the ships could arrive before it. 
I am with respect, 

Your Excellency's most obedient 
Humble Servant, 

Jacob Lobb. 
To His Excellency Governor Tryon. 

While this was going on the people in Wil- 
mington were not idle. They seized the boat 
of the contractor for supplies to the men-of- 
war, and the consequence was that the crews 
of the Viper and Diligence^ finding themselves 
with only one day's rations of bread, and the 
only possible source of supply thus cut off, 
were in a fair way to starve. This compelled 
Tryon to terms, and the Solicitor of the Court 
of Admiralty, Robert Jones, Esq., made a 

ii8 A Colonial Officer 

virtue of necessity, and accepted the explana- 
tion of the captains of the two merchant ves- 
sels in regard to the impossibility of procuring 
stamps, and released their vessels. The cor- 
respondence in relation to the seizure of the 
boat, as found in Tr\'on's dispatches, is as 


Viper Sloop, Cape Fear, 

2 2d February 1766. 

I beg leave to acquaint j^our Excellency 
that by ni}^ order of the 5th inst. there was a 
demand for provisions given to the Contractor's 
Agent, Mr. William Dry, for the use of the 
complement of men on board his Majesty's 
Sloop under my command, which demand is 
not complied with, and I find by a certificate 
from Mr. Dr}^ the provisions were denied being 
brought to his Majesty's Sloop by the Inhabi- 
tants of Wilmington. I must beg leave to 
acquaint your Excellency that there is no 
more bread on board than to serve the Sloop's 
compan}' tomorrow, and do request your Ex- 
cellency's advice. Inclosed your Excellenc}' 
will receive a copy of Mr. Dry's certificate. I 
am with respect*. 

Your Excellency's 

Obedient humble servant, 

Jacob Lobb. 
To His Excellency Governor Try on. 

And His TniEvS. 119 


These are to certify that there was a deiiiaiid 
made to me by Capt. Jacob Lobb of his 
Majesty's Sloop Viper for a supply of provis- 
ions for the said Sloop 011 the Fifth iiist. and 
that there was a boat and hands sent by me to 
Wilmington for the same, that the men belong- 
ing to the boat were taken up and put into 
gaol, that the inhabitants and people of the 
province would not suffer any provisions to be 
shipt on board the boat for the use of his 
Majest3''s sloop. 

Dated at Brunswick, 21 February 1766. 

W:\i. Dry. 


Brunswick the 2 2d February 1766. 

In answer to your letter I can only observe 
that as 3'ou have thought it expedient to redress 
the grievances which were the pretended causes 
of the town of Wilmington's withholding the 
necessary provisions for his Majesty's Sloops, 
I should imagine the contractor's agent would 
meet with no obstruction at present in obtain- 
ing the necessary supply. If the provisions 
are not brought to the Viper tomorrow I desire 
you will inform me b}^ a line. 
I am, &c. 

Wm. Tryon. 
To Capt. Lobb. 

I20 A Colonial Officer 

Viper Sloop, Brunswick, 

24 Feb'y, 1766. 

I received your Excellency's letter of the 
2 2d inst. sigiiifyiug to me your Excellenc^-'s 
desire of being acquainted if the provisions did 
not arrive the 23d, and in return beg leave to 
acquaint your Excellency they are not yet 
arrived. I am with respect, 
Your Excellency's 

Most obedient humble servant, 

Jacob Lobb. 
To His Excellenc}^ Governor Tryon. 


Brunswick the 24 Februar}^ 1766. 
Mr. Mayor. 

Capt. Lobb having lodged a complaint with 
me, dated the 2 2d inst. that the Contractor's 
boat, with provisions for the use of his Majest3''s 
ships was detained at Wilmington and the 
boatmen put into gaol by the inhabitants of 
that town, I desire to know the proper causes 
for such conduct that I may transmit them to 
his Majesty. The Viper sloop is at present 
without bread. I do therefore require 3'our 
assistance that the contractor may be furnished 
with the necessary provisions as soon as pos- 

I am Sir, &c.- 

Wm. Tryon. 
Moses John De Rosset, Esq. 

And His Toiks. 12 r 


Wilmington 28 Febrimr}^ 1766. 

Your Excellency's letter dated the 24tli 
iiist. came to my hands yesterday noon, and 
after consulting the Aldermen upon the con- 
tents of it I find Capt. Lobb has been misin- 
formed in regard to the contractors boat with 
provisions for his Majesty's ships being stopt. 
I shall therefore take the libert}^ to relate to 
your Excellency the facts as they really hap- 

Upon the gentlemen of the town and country 
round having information that Capt. Eobb had 
seized several vessels coming into this river 
for want of stamped papers, notwithstanding 
their producing certain certificates from the 
several officers of the customs that no stamped 
papers were to be had at the port from whence 
they came, an agreement was entered into not 
to supply his Majesty's ships with any more 
provisions unless the particular restrictions on 
this port were taken off, and in consequence of 
that agreement no person would supply the 
Contractor with any, so that your Excellency 
will find no provisions were on board the boat. 
x\s to the boatmen being put in gaol, it was 
done by the people who had collected them- 
selves together to procure a redress of their 
grievances, and to prevent their going down, 
and not only they but every other person going 
to Brunswick was stopped. 

Since the accommodation of matters with. 

122 A Colonial Officer 

the Commanding Officers of the King's ships, 
your Excellency has no doubt been informed 
that a supply of provisions has been sent them, 
and 3'our Excellency may be assured of the 
best endeavors of this Corporation to forward 
his Majesty's service. At the same time they 
can't help expressing their concern that your 
Excellenc}' should on ever^- occasion, \a.y the 
whole blame of every transaction to the oppo- 
sition made to the Stamp Act on this Borough, 
when it is so w^ell known the whole county has 
been equally concerned in it. 

I am further instructed by the corporation 
to assure your Excellency that his Majesty 
has not a sett of more lo3^al subjects in an}^ 
part of his dominions than the inhabitants of 
this borough. 

I am with the greatest respect Sir, 
Your Excellency's most obedient 
And most humble servant, 

Moses Jxo. De Rosset. 

The situation, after all the excitement had 
passed, is given by Governor Tryon in the two 
following letters, the first addressed on the 3d 
day of March to Conway, and the second, dated 
April 5th, to the Lords of the Treasury: 

And His Times. 123 

North Carolina, 
Brunswick the 3d March 1766. 

The Right Honorable Henry Seymour Con- 

luay, Esq.: 

The dispatches I had the honor to direct to 
3^ou on the 25th of last month, I laid before 
his ]\Iajest3''s Council, as will be seen by the 
extract from the Council Journal. My procla- 
mation of the 26th past I understand has given 
general satisfaction to the inhabitants con- 
cerned in the late disturbances from its mode- 
ration. As I had no power to repress their 
tumults it was thought most expedient not to 
inflame grievances. The General Assembl}^ I 
shall prorogue from time to time till I have 
the honor to receive his Majesty's further 

I find by the public papers that those Colo- 
nies who have held Assemblies in the present 
times have entered warmly into disputes rela- 
tive to the Stamp x^ct without doing au}^ 
business for his Majesty's interests, or the 
benefit of the Colonies. As I have therefore 
as 3^et had no disputes with the General As- 
senibl}', I esteem it advisable to prevent, as 
much as possible, any breach in the Legisla- 
ture, as b}' this caution I think I shall be best 
a-ble to support the honor and dignity of gov- 
ernment till I can be informed of the resolu- 
tions taken by his Alajesty and his Parliament 
to terminate the present disturbances in these 
provinces. If it should ever be found neces- 
sar}' to send military' force into this Colon^^, 

124 -^ Colonial Officer 

the first week in October is the soonest they 
should arrive, if brought from a more north- 
ward country. Were they to land in the heat 
of summer this climate would be as fatal to 
them as the climate of Pensacola has proved 
to the troops sent there. Capt Lobb has 
acquainted me he has received the 25th past 
twenty two days provision from the Contractor. 
I have enclosed a copy of the Mayor of Wil- 
mington's letter in answer to mine put up with 
the dispatches of the 25th of February, directed 
to the Mayor. 

Capt Dalrymple has made his report to me 
that the cannon at Fort Johnston are almost 
all cleared of the spikes, and that without any 
prejudice to the guns. Mr. Randolph, Sur- 
veyor General of his Majestj^'s Customs, who 
is now with me on his return from Charles 
Town has, at my request, reinstated Mr. Pen- 
nington in his office of Comptroller for this 
port. I must beg leave to mention Capt Phipps 
to you. Sir, who takes charge of these dis- 
patches and to refer you to him for au}^ further 
particulars relative to the disturbances here, 
he having been present and intimately ac- 
quainted with every step that was taken. The 
spirit and zeal he has shown while on this 
station for his Majesty's service, and the honor 
of his profession does him great credit. 

I have the honor to be with great respect 
and esteem, &c &c. 

And His Times. 125 

Brunswick 5tli April 1766. 
TJic Right Hon'ble The Lords Coiuiuissioncrs 

of his Majesty s Treasury : 

I was honored with your Lordships com- 
mands on the 25th of March last by the favor 
of Mr. Lowndes's letter of the 14th of Septem- 
ber 1765 requiring me to give my assistance 
to the Distributor of the Stamps in the execu- 
tion of his office. Some stamps for this 
province arrived here from Virginia the 28th 
of November last in the Diligence Sloop of 
War; but as \\x. Houston, Distributor of the 
Stamps, was obliged publicly to resign his 
office in the Court House of Wilmington on 
the 1 6th of the same month, a copy of which 
I enclose, I desired Capt Phipps to keep the 
stamps on board the Diligence. They were 
lately removed into his Majesty's Sloop, the 
Viper, Capt Lobb Commanding, the Diligence 
having sailed for England. My endeavors, 
my Lords, to promote the circulation of the 
stamps in this province have been accompanied 
with my warmest zeal, as I flatter myself the 
letter I wrote on that subject to Mr. Conway, 
one of his IMajesty's principal Secretaries of 
State will testify. "^ The ill success that has 
attended this discharge of my duty has given 
me real concern. Since the riotous assembly 
of men in Wilmington and Brunswick on the 
19th, 20th and 2ist of February last, there has 
been no disturbances in the province, the ports 
have never been shut, and entries and clear- 
ances are made in the form that was practiced 

126 A Colonial Officer 

before the Stamp Act was appointed by Parlia- 
ment to take effect. I continue in opinion that 
these Southern provinces will regulate their 
further obedience and conduct agreeable to the 
measures that are adopted b^^ the more formid- 
able colonies to the Northward. 

I am, my Lords, with all possible esteem 
and respect, &c. 

The foregoing facts were well known, though 
only by tradition, before the discovery of 
Trj^on's letter-book in London in 1S48. 

The events the}^ describe were not, in the 
ordinar}^ sense, great historical events, it is 
true, but they were highly creditable to the 
actors in them, and show conclusive!}- that the 
spirit of Liberty manifested itself, to sa}- the 
least, as boldly, intelligentl}^ and promptly 
among North Carolinians in the early days 
as elsewhere, and that they had as just an 
appreciation of their rights under the British 
constitution as the most enlightened subjects 
of the Crown at home or in the other Colonies. 
And yet the historians of the United States, 
while carefully noting similar events in the 
other Colonies, have, without an exception, 
omitted from their pages any mention of this 
first and only open, defiant, armed resistance 
to the Stamp Act which occurred in America — 

Axi) His Timp:s. 127 

just as for a long time the}^ ignored the first 
Declaration of Independence, which was pro- 
claimed in Mecklenburg County in the same 
State, and the first resolutions of a Provincial 
Congress directing the Delegates to the Con- 
tinental Congress to declare in favor of inde- 
pendence, which were passed at Halifax on 
the 1 2th day of xA.pril, 1776, more than a month 
before the celebrated resolutions of the Vir- 
ginia Assembly on the same subject. 

The blame for these oversights — for it is not 
to be presumed that the neglect was inten- 
tional — rests primarily upon the people of 
North Carolina, who have ever been indifferent, 
if not averse, to claiming their own from the 
Muse of History. 

Note. — As several of our historians have mentioned a cer- 
tain duel fought by Captain Alex. Simpson and Lieutenant 
Thomas Whitehurst of the ship J'iper, about the time of the 
Stamp- Act excitement on the Cape Fear ; and as not one of 
the statements given by these writers is correct, it may be well 
to give a true version of the affair, as taken from the records. 

Wheeler, in his history, says that in February, 1766, a duel 
occurred between these parties — that Simpson sympathized 
with the Colonists, and Whitechurst (Whitehurst) favored 
Tryon ; that Whitehurst being killed, Simpson was arrested, 
tried before Ch. J. Berry and acquitted ; that Tryon insinuated 
connivance on the part of Judge Berry, summoned him before 
the Council, and the Judge, in a frenzy of apprehension, com- 

128 A Colonial Officer 

ttiitted suicide. Aud Wheeler quotes Martin as authority for 
his statement. 

"Shocco " Jones, in his " Defence of North Carolina," savs 
Simpson was condemned, but escaped and fled to England. 

Moore, in his History, says that Simpson (not Whitehurst) 
was killed, and that Whitehurst was convicted of murder, but 
that Judge Berr}' " granted him enough time before execution 
to enable him to escape," and that "Tryon was furious and 
so wrought upon the fears of Judge Berry that he committed 

In the first place, the duel occurred at Brunswick, March 
i8th, 1765, and was caused, not by the Stamp- Act excitement, 
but by a ivonian, according to Tryou's report to the Board of 
Trade. It was a brutal affair, in which Simpson not only 
broke Whitehurst' s thigh with his shot, but broke his head with 
the butt of his pistol, breaking the butt and pan of the pistol 
at the same time. Simpson himself was shot behind the right 
shoulder, the ball coming out under his arm. The witnesses 
before the coroner's jury were midshipmen James Brewster 
and James Mooringe. Simpson escaped the night before 
Governor Dobbs died, 28th March, and Tryon issued a procla- 
mation offering ^50 reward for his arrest ; and wrote to Gov- 
ernor Fauquier of Virginia, saying that, as Simpson had some 
months previoush' married "Miss Annie Pierson, daughter 
of Mrs. Ramsburg, whose husband keeps a tavern in Norfolk," 
and as Mrs. Simpson had returned to Virginia, he suspected 
Simpson had gone there— that "the weak state of his health 
and the dangerous condition of his wound," strengthened this 
conjecture, and it was "not probable that he should undertake a 
long voyage ;" and he characterized Simpson's conduct as 
" extraordinary." It certainly was extraordinary, and why the 
seconds or witnesses permitted it is incomprehensible. vSimp- 
son afterwards surrendered himself, was tried at October Term, 
1765 (a month before the stamp ship arrived), was convicted of 
manslaughter, and branded with the letter M on the ball of the 
thumb of his left hand, in open Court, and discharged — as 
appears by the record of the trial, still preserved at the court- 
house in Wilmington. The allegation that Judge Berry's sui- 

And His TniRvS. 129 

ci.le was the result of his fright at the escape of Simpsou. there- 
fore, is wholly untrue. 

lu a letter to the Board of Trade, dated February ist, 1766, 
Tryon says, "Mr. Berry, Chief Justice of this Province, shot 
himself in the head the 21st Deer last, and died in Wilmington 
the 29th of the same month. The coroner's inquest sat on the 
body and brought in a verdict 'Lunacy.'" This was two 
months after Simpson's conviction, and nearly a year after the 
duel. The place of Judge Berry's suicide was in a house oppo- 
site the present court-house at Wilmington. 

130 A Colonial Officer 



The Regulators' War— Its Origin and History— General Wad- 
dell's Connection with it. 

^ f "^HE Stamp Act was repealed in March , 
-*- 1766, and on the 25th of June Governor 
Tryon issued a proclamation announcing the 
fact, in which — having learned some valuable 
lessons in the months preceding, and having 
determined to change his tactics and play a 
conciliator}' role — he severel_v denounced the 
extortions which had been practiced in the 
Western Counties by the officers of the Courts 
and others, and sternlv forbade these officers 
to take more than their legal fees thereafter. 
He also indulged in a somewhat tender appeal 
to the people to render a cheerful obedience to 
the legislative authority of the mother countr3^ 
Immediatelj^ upon the appearance of this 
proclamation an amusing, and somewhat dis- 
gusting, exchange of felicitations took place 
between the Maj^or, Recorder and Aldermen 
of Wilmington, and the Governor; but each 

And Hls Times. 131 

party to this performauce was conscious of the 
hollow insincerity of the proceedings, and each 
mistrusted the other. The Legislature, which 
had not met since May, 1765, was called together 
in November, and, although they expressed 
their pleasure at and returned thanks for the 
repeal of the Stamp Act, and declared their 
loyalt}' to the Crown, they did not humiliate 
themselves in any way. They did, however, 
foolishl}^ appropriate a large amount to build a 
mansion for the Governor at Newbern ; but 
their excuse was that the Assembl}' had pre- 
A'iously promised to do it, in consideration of 
the repeal of an act to build at Tower Hill on 
the Xeuse. The cost of this ''palace," as it 
was called, and as it really was, was over 
$75,000 — an enormous sum for those times. 
Over the main entrance to it was a pompous 
Latin inscription, said to have been written by 
Sir Wm. Draper. General ]\Iiranda, who 
visited it with Judge JMartin in 1783, said that 
his own countr}^ (South America) contained 
no building equal to it. 

While this palace was in course of construc- 
tion, and as if to aggravate the general complaint 
of extravagance in public expenditure, Tr3^on 
organized an escort to accompany him in person- 

132 A Colonial Officer 

ally running the boundary line between the 
Cherokee nation and the Province. The escort 
consisted of about a hundred men, selected from 
the Rowan and Mecklenburg regiments, the 
detachment from the former commanded b}^ 
Lieutenant Colonel Frohock, and from the latter 
by Lieutenant Colonel Moses Alexander, and 
the whole under Colonel Hugh Waddell. There 
were also an Adjutant General, an Aide, and 
a Chaplain, all with high rank and pa}^ The 
expedition lasted nearly a month, beginning 
on the 19th May, 1767, and it was because of 
his conduct on this expedition that Tryon 
received from the Cherokees the soubriquet of 
"Wolf of Carolina." 

Meanwhile the people, of the Western part 
of the Colon}' especially, were growing more 
restless under the continued exactions and 
extortions practiced upon thembj^ local officers ; 
and, notwithstanding the repeal of the Stamp 
Act, were, in the Eastern section, greatly dis- 
satisfied with the Navigation Act and other 
embarrassments to their trade. 

Even men of well known loyalt}', like Hugh 
Waddell, were severely' tried by the course 
affairs were t&king. The discontent in the 
West was because of local grievances, tliat in 

And His TimKvS. 133 

the Kast because of the legislation of Parlia- 

A "Serious Address" had been published 
in Granville County, and in August, 1766, 
duriuQ: a session of the Inferior Court of 
Orange, a number of men had entered the 
court-house and handed a paper to the Clerk 
to read aloud in regard to the local grievances 
of the people of that County. 

With this event began the troubles which 
culminated in what is known as the "Regu- 
lators' War," a contest which, beginning in a 
temperate protest against the conduct of local 
officers, degenerated, under the leadership of a 
cunning and cowardly fellow, into an utterly 
indefensible outbreak against all law, which, 
if not suppressed, threatened the overthrow of 

*November 15, 1767, John Crawford, member from Anson, 
resigned his seat and resignation accepted by House. Tryon 
forbore to issue writ for new election until he could hear from 
Home Government. Earl Hillsborough, June nth, 1768, says 
he was right; that "there is no precedent of a member 
resigning his seat in Parliament, and the usages and prece- 
dents of the Hpuse of Commons being adopted by the Assem- 
bly of North Carolina, the House was mistaken in accepting 
the resignation of Crawford." This seems to verify the old 
maxim in regard to office-holders, viz.: "Few die, and none 

134 A Colonial Officer 

an}' form of government and the destruction of 
social order. The name "Regulator" was 
adopted at a meeting held at Sand}- Creek, in 
what was then Orange, and is now Randolph 
Count}', on the 2 2d of March, 1767, at which 
a written agreement was drawn up and an 
association was formed "for regulating public 
grievances." This agreement contemplated 
no violence, and only bound the signers to pay- 
no more taxes until satisfied they were agree- 
able to law and were properly applied ; to pay 
no more than legal fees to any officer unless 
forced to do so; to meet often for conference 
with their representatives in regard to amend- 
ing the laws; to elect better men to office, and 
to petition the authorities for redress. 

But their leader, Herman Husbands, though 
uneducated, was a mischievous and turbulent 
demagogue and a canting hypocrite, who, 
under the garb of the Society of Friends 
(Quakers), from which he was expelled for 
immorality, concealed an ambitious and venom- 
ous spirit. The Sandy Creek agreement was 
but the first step ^in his programme. He 
set himself diligently to work to inflame the 
passions of the people, to exaggerate the evils 
of which they justly complained, and to incite 
them to violence. He passed most of his time 

And HIvS Timks. 135 

ill going about haranguing crowds of the igno- 
rant and untutored, and plied his vocation even 
on Sundays. 

He had a coadjutor in Edmund Fanning, 
who was Colonel of the militia of Orange and 
was a Court Officer who, by his extortions and 
offensive conduct generally, was the most 
obnoxious man in the Province. Fanning did 
all he could to aggravate the Regulators, and 
the}' repaid him with interest whenever they 
could. Without reciting every detail of the 
progress of the Regulators' outbreak, it will 
suffice to saj' that after various interviews 
between the agents of the Association and the 
Governor, and after matters had well nigh 
reached a peaceable adjustment, Husbands, 
who dreaded nothing so much as the stopping 
of his trade of demagogue and agitator, in- 
vented a new series of grievances against a new 
set of alleged criminals, namel}^ the members 
of the Assembly and the Treasurers of the 
Province. Governor Tr^-on laid these new 
grievances before the Council, but the}' re- 
quested him to notify the Regulators that no 
change would be made in the propositions 
alread}' submitted to them b}- the Governor, 
which included a promise that the officers who 
had been guilt}- of extortion should be prose- 

136 A Colonial Officer 

ciited. Unfortunately for them the Regula- 
tors were guided absolutely by Husbands, who 
exercised an unbounded influence over them, 
and consequently matters remained in the same 
condition until the arrest and trial of Hus- 
bands for a riot at Hillsborough, where Gov- 
ernor Tryon, who had been inspecting the 
militia farther West, appeared at the head of 
eleven hundred men, while more than three 
times that number of Regulators were in the 
vicinity awaiting the result of the trial. While 
his own trial was pending, Husbands, accord- 
ing to his own written statement, agreed with 
Fanning, like a selfish and cowardl}^ traitor, 
to abandon the cause of the Regulators pro- 
vided he was released. 

Fanning was indicted at the same term of 
the Court for extortion. Husbands was acquit- 
ted, and Fanning, who was probably tried by 
the same jury, was convicted in five cases, but 
was only fined a penny and costs in each case, 
because he pleaded a misconstruction of the 
statute regulating fees, and showed that he got 
the judgment of the County Court in his favor 
before taking the fees. 

He ought, doubtless, to have been severely 
punished, and the reputation of the Court 
suffered in the esteem of all fair-minded men 

And His Times. 137 

when such a judgment was prouounced. The 
record of one of the Judges, Maurice Moore, as 
a man friendly disposed to the Regulators, as 
well as tradition in his family, justifies the 
belief that he did not concur with the other 
two Judges in their sentence. 

The trial took place in September, 1768, and,, 
after the adjournment of Court, Tryon issued 
a proclamation pardoning all concerned in the 
late disturbances, except about a dozen who 
were named. In the judgment of many at 
that time, and, of all reflecting persons now, 
Tryon ought to have left the violators of the 
law to the prosecuting officers and the Courts, 
until their acts assumed more serious propor- 
tions, which they did a year or so afterwards. 

During the year 1769 the spirit of the Regu- 
lators, which the proceedings of the Court at 
Hillsborough appeared only to aggravate, 
manifested itself in new acts of violence, and 
although, by the express order of the British 
Ministr}^, Trj^on issued on the 9th of Septem- 
ber an additional proclamation of pardon to 
everybody, without exception, who had been 
concerned in the Regulators' disturbances, 
these disturbances continued, and the service 
of process bj- the sheriffs and their deputies, 
became nearly impossible. The Regulators 

138 A Colonial Officer 

having petitioned the Governor for a new As- 
sembly he granted it, and the new Assembl}^ 
met in October, 1769. The Regulators had 
elected enough members of this body to effect 
a change of about thirty votes. This body was 
soon dissolved by the Governor. 

New organizations of the Regulators were 
formed, and they had extended over a wide area 
b}^ the beginning of the 3'ear 1770. In the 
region around Salisbury, as reported by Judge 
Moore, who held Court there in March, it was 
impossible to collect taxes or levy an execu- 
tion, which, as he said, were "plain proofs, 
among others, that their designs have extended 
further than to promote public inquiry into 
the conduct of public affairs." At Hillsboro, 
in September, when the Court met, with Judge 
Henderson presiding, the greatest outrage or 
series of outrages yet perpetrated by the Reg- 
ulators took place. They insulted and cruelly 
beat some members of the bar, and going into 
the court-house in a riotous manner, with 
Husbands at their head, thej^ demanded of 
Judge Henderson that he should try their 
leaders, and should take the jury from their 

The Judge adjourned the Court and that 
night fled the town. They then held a mock 

And His Times. 139 

court, and made scandalous entries on the 
docket. On the 1 2th of November the}- burned 
Judge Henderson's barn, and on the 14th his 
house. Again a new Assembly was called, and 
met at Newbern in December, 1770. It pro- 
vided, from the first, for relief to the people by 
various acts, one of which was to refund the 
amount of taxes alleged to have been illegally 
collected since 1768. 

Threats having been made by the Regula- 
tors that they would go to Newbern, where the 
Legislature was in session, to prevent Fanning 
from being seated as a member, the Governor 
called out the militia, and the trenches were 
manned for the protection of the Legislature. 

Afterwards, when Husbands, who was a 
member from Orange, was expelled for lying 
and for threatening the Assembly with the 
Regulators in case of his confinement by the 
House, it was ascertained that the Regulators 
were actually preparing to justify these threats 
by marching to Newbern. 

Again, when the Assembly was about to 
adjourn, news came that the Regulators were 
in large force at Cross Creek (now Fayette- 
ville) and had declared their purpose to go to 
Newbern and burn the Governor's " palace." 
Thereupon the Assembly voted the Governor 

I40 A Colonial Officer 

means of defence. These threats were not 
carried into execution, but the disorders grew 
worse continually, and other Judges were beaten 
and Courts broken up. 

It now became evident that but one course 
remained to be pursued towards the Regula- 
tors, if government of any kind was to be 
maintained in North Carolina, and accordingly 
the Governor, urged by the Council^ the Courts^ 
and the Legislature ^'^ made his preparations to 
march against the Regulators and put an end 
to their outrages. 

He assembled about eleven hundred men, 
composed of detachments from the counties in 
the Hast, and from Wake, and marched to 
Orange. The Regulators numbered about 
two thousand. They met near the banks of 
th.e Alamance, Notwithstanding the conduct 
of the Regulators in cruelly flogging two of 
the Governor's officers (Captains Walker and 
Ashe), whom they had captured while on a 
scouting expedition, the course of the Gov- 
ernor, according to every account of the affair, 
exhibited the utmost aversion to shedding 
blood. Messengers had passed between the 
forces, seeking a reconciliation in vain. On 

*See note at the end of this chapter. 

And His Times. 141 

the 1 6th of May the}'- had approached within 
a half mile of each other, and the Governor 
sent a message demanding unconditional sur- 
render. Husbands, who was still the leader 
of the Regulators, returned his defiance and 
seeuTed determined to fight. 

They came within one hundred 3'ards of 
each other, and the Governor made a civil and 
a militar}' officer read a proclamation in the 
nature of a riot act. The}' then approached 
until the ranks passed each other, making a 
retrograde movement necessary to regain their 
places. They then stood for an hour, at a 
distance of twenty-five yards, quarreling and 
abusing each other, when the comedy was 
ended by the furious shout of the Governor: 
"Fire! fire on them or on me," and the battle 
began. Husbands, like the cowardly cur he was, 
immediate^' fled ; those of his followers who did 
not follow his example took to the trees, Indian 
fashion, and in a little while afterwards were 

Before and during the fight the Governor 
had sent flags of truce, both of which were 
shot down. His loss was nine killed and sixt}' 
wounded; that of the Regulators was twenty 
killed and an unknown number wounded. 

142 A Colonial Officer 

Previous to Tryon's expedition to the Ala- 
mance in 1771/^' Waddell had been promoted 
to the rank of General, and was the ranking 
officer of the Province, and the most expe- 
rienced officer in it, although not yet thirty- 
five years old. Preparatory to that expedition 
he had been sent to Salisbury to take command 
of a force which was to co-operate with the 
troops under Tryon's immediate command, 

*[Tryon's Letter-Book.] 

No. 70. Earl Hillsborough. 

Newbern 12 April 1771 

The next day, the i8th [March] I summoned His Majesty's 
Council, related to them some reasons that prompted me to 
offer my service, and took their advice on the expedieuc)' of 
raising forces to restore peace and stability to government. 
They approving the measure I lost no time in sending requisi- 
tions to almost every County in the province for certain quotas 
of men, &c., &c., &c. 


To forward this business I went myself last week to Wil- 
mington when I appointed Mr. Waddell General of all the 
forces raised, or to be raised against the insurgents, and expect 
he will get seven hundred men from the Western Counties to 
serve under his immediate command, who will march them 
into the settlement of the insurgents by the way of Salisbury 
while I bring up the forces from the Southern and Eastern 
parts, and break into their settlements on the east side of 
Orange County. In my excursion to Wilmington I had the 
satisfaction to find the gentlemen and inhabitants of Cape Fear 
unanimous and spirited in the cause, and the officers successful 
in recruiting. ****** 

And His Times. 143 

who went from the k)w countiy ^iicl from Wake 
Count}'. He was waiting for the arrival of 
some ammunition wagons, which had to make 
the long journey from Charleston, S. C, before 
starting with his force. 

When the wagons, four in number, reached 
Phifer's Hill, near Concord, they were seized 
and the ammunition was destroyed by some 
daring young fellows calling themselves 
" Black Boys," under the leadership of James 
White, who was afterwards a brave officer in 
the Revolution. 

These young men sympathized with the 
Regulators who, as they had been led to believe, 
were merely resisting oppression, and were 
guilty of no lawlessness or other crime. The 
loss of his ammunition was the first serious 
difficulty that General Waddell encountered, 
but when he started wath three hundred and 
forty men to join Tryon, and had reached a 
point a few miles beyond the Yadkin river, he 
discovered a large force, a much larger one 
than his own, which had been gathered to 
oppose his march, and which was read}^ for a 
fight. The officers in General Waddell's com- 
mand were, Griffith Rutherford (afterwards a 
distinguished Revolutionary officer, who at- 
tained the rank of Brigadier General ) , William 

144 A Colonial Officer 

Lindsay, Adlai Alexander, Thomas Neal, 
Frederick Ross, Robert Shaw, Samuel Spencer, 
Robert Harris, Samuel Snead, and William 
Luckie. These officers held a council of war, 
and drew up a paper which the}- signed, dated 
"General Waddell's Camp, Potts' Creek, loth 
May, 1771," which reads as follows: 

By a Council of officers of the Western 
detachment, considering the great superiorit}- 
of the insurgents in number, and the resolution 
of a great part of their own men not to fight, 
it was resolved that the}^ should retreat across 
the Yadkin. 

It was also discovered that man}' of the 
detachment were communicating with the 
Regulators, and thereupon General Waddell 
retreated. He then sent a dispatch to Tryon 
acquainting him with the situation of affairs, 
and Tryon, who was a fearless and skillful 
officer, immediately moved on the Regulators, 
and the "battle" of Alamance, en the i6th 
May, ended the so-called Regulators' war. 

General Waddell was not present at the 
Alamance affair, and was doubtless glad of it, 
for, while his duty as an officer was plain, he, 
like Caswell, Ashe, Howe, and others, whose 
patriotism was displayed in the Revolution so 
soon afterwards, was averse to shedding the 

And His Timks. 145 

blood of an}' American, even to sustain just 
authorit}', and, like them, lie was a true friend 
of libert}'. But the conduct of the Regulators 
forced the issue between law and mob rule, and 
left no alternative to the authorities but the 
prompt suppression of them by force. 

Notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence 
spread upon the records, and the unanimous 
judgment of all the writers upon the subject, 
including the two ablest apologists of the 
Regulators, Caruthers and Wilej', the belief 
has prevailed to some extent in North Caro- 
lina, and very generall}^ outside of the State, 
that the Regulators were a body of patriots 
whose zeal in the cause of liberty could brook 
no restraint, and that they poured out the first 
libation to her on American soil, at the battle 
of Alamance in May, 1771, in resistance to 
British oppression. This is a total perversion 
of the truth of histor}', and not only does gross 
injustice, but actually reverses the position of 
parties in the Revolution. 

The truth in regard to the Regulators is 
contained in the following propositions, viz : 

First. That they were but a small minority 
of the people of North Carolina. 

Second. That the}^ contended for no great 

146 A Colonial Officer 

T/iird. That, with tM'o or three exceptions, 
there was not a man prominent for intellect or 
virtue in their organization. 

Fourth. That they were not republicans. 

Fifth. That they were Tories in the Revo- 
lution; and 

Sixth. That they were opposed by the promi- 
nent Whig leaders of that da^-, including such 
men as Griffith Rutherford, Willie Jones and 
others, who, after the Revolution, were sus- 
pected of radicalism. 

1. Proof of the first proposition will not be 
required by any one at all acquainted with the 

2. The grievances complained of by the 
Regulators were pureU^ local, and arose out of 
the extortions and malpractice of the sheriffs, 
clerks, registers of deeds and tax-collectors. 
The offenders were their fellow-subjects and 
neighbors, and not the King and Parliament, 
to wdioni they declared their lo3'alty and devo- 
tion in the strongest terms, and proved it by 
being Tories in the Revolution. The taxes 
against wdiich they protested were not British 
taxes, illegally imposed, but taxes imposed by 
their own representatives in the Assembly — 
representatives with whom, as declared in the 
Sandy Creek Association, the}' proposed to 

And His Times. 147 

confer, and whom they proposed to displace 
with better men if they did not do right. And 
if the original purposes of that Association 
had been carried out in good faith — if by con- 
certed action they had persistently indicted 
offenders against the law, and had sued for 
the penalties provided by the statute (West- 
minster I), and had tested the legality of 
seizures and the like, instead of resorting to a 
"higher law" of their own, and enlisting and 
training men, and breaking up the Courts, 
and whipping Judges and attorneys, and 
attempting with armed force to overawe the 
Legislature, and committing other similar out- 
rages — they would have escaped the fate that 
befel them, and would have appeared in history 
in a very different light. 

3. The third proposition — that with two or 
three exceptions, their organization embraced 
no man prominent for intellect or virtue — 
cannot be denied. 

The discussion of historical questions ought 
to be approached without prejudice or improper 
motives of any kind ; and, therefore, while it 
is natural and commendable in the descend- 
ants of the Regulators to seek to vindicate 
their conduct, the effort cannot be justified 
either by distorting facts, or by imputing false 

148 A Colonial Officer 

or unworthy motives to others. It has been 
said that some of the "gentr}-," as some of 
the Eastern men were invidiously called, had 
aided in suppressing the Regulators because 
of offended pride at not having been consulted 
upon or placed in charge of the movement. 
There is no foundation whatever for this 
strange assertion, and it must be attributed, 
like many of the so-called facts which filial 
pietjr has supplied in regard to the Regula- 
tors, to a loose tradition, based upon unjust 
prejudices. The persons to whom allusion is 
made as the "gentry," were, almost without 
exception, men who owed nothing to the acci- 
dents of birth or fortune, but had earned posi- 
tions of respectability b}' their public services, 
their superior intelligence and force of char- 

Those who are unable or unwilling to recon- 
cile the conduct of these "gentry" — who in 
1765 denounced and resisted with arms the 
Stamp Act and other legislation of Parliament 
hostile to America — with their subsequent 
suppression of the Regulators in 1771, confuse 
events which are unconnected with each other, 
which arose from different causes and were 
based on different principles. 

The men of 1765, as British subjects, and 

And His Times. 149 

in the assertion of their rights as such, resisted 
the tyranny and oppression of the Crown and 
Parliament, and proved their determination to 
preserve their liberties. In i768-'7i, although 
S3'mpathizing with the Regulators in their 
local troubles, and having contempt for the 
officers who practiced extortion and other vil- 
lainies upon them, they held in equal contempt 
such pestilent demagogues as Husbands, who, 
under the guise of virtuous indignation against 
these local grievances, was instigating the 
more ignorant people to resist lawful author- 
ity — thereb}^ confounding right with wrong, 
and legitimate with illegimate power, and 
bringing about a state of anarchy in the Prov- 
ince. And when, under his leadership, those 
misguided people undertook to stop the wheels 
of government — when they broke up the 
Courts, mobbed the Judges, whipped the 
attorne3'S, defied the sheriffs to serve au}^ kind 
of process, and finally took up arms and organ- 
ized themselves into a lawless mob, defiant of 
all authorit}^ except their own will — tJicn^ upon 
the call of the Governor, in pursuance of an 
Act of Assembly, and in the performance of a 
plain duty as officers and citizens who were 
bound to maintain the peace and good order of 
society, they went to meet force with force, and 

150 A Colonial Officer 

to suppress a revolt, which — although based 
upon just provocation against individuals in 
its incipiency — had assumed proportions and 
was contemplating purposes inconsistent with 
the preservation of the forms of government, 
or in other words, which meant naked anarch3\ 

The warmest apologist of the Regulators 
has never justified the lawless and cruel acts 
perpetrated by them — their gathering in arms 
to overawe the Legislature and rescue Hus- 
bands, who had been expelled from that bod}^ 
and afterwards imprisoned, and the various 
other acts leading up to the battle of Alamance. 

The author of the latest history of North 
Carolina* — who, it is proper to say, is in no 
waj^ related to the men of the same name from 
the Cape Fear country who figured in the 
troubles of those times, and is not amenable 
to the charge of inherited prejudice — speaking 
of these events, sa3^s : 

These misguided people, however much 
justified in their original movements, had 
become an intolerable nuisance — an impedi- 
ment alike to legislation and the administra- 
tion of public justice. '■''■ '■^- * Brutal mobs 
ranged unchallenged from where Raleigh now 
stands to Charlotte. 

s=I\Iajor John W. Moore. 

And His Timks. 151 

And again lie says : 

It has been the habit in North Carolina to 
assail the motives of Governor Tryon for the 
military movements which he inaugurated in 
the month of March. Whatever ma}- have 
been his previous errors and mistakes, there 
can be no rational denial of his eminent pru- 
dence and propriety on this occasion. The 
Judges of the Courts, His Majesty's Council, 
and the House of Assembly all joined in insist- 
ing that he should raise the forces of the Prov- 
ince and abate a nuisance that was making 
North Carolina a stench in the nostrils of all 
civilized communities. Though the Regula- 
tion was first planned in resistance to the 
meanest of tyrannies, it had become the eneni}^ 
of all true liberty and order, and was only the 
tool of one base and designing man. 

The conduct, therefore, of the "gentry" in 
resisting the usurpations of the King and 
Parliament on the one hand, and in aiding to 
put down lawlessness on the other, commend 
them to the profound respect of the historian 
as men who had a just appreciation of true 
liberty; and the stigma of being gentlemen, 
which is sought to be affixed to their names, 
and memory will serve the double purpose of 
presenting them in their true character, and 
of verifj'ing the assertion that the best men of 
the Province were all on one side, and that 

152 A Colonial Officer 

was the side of law and legitimate rule. As 
to the leaders of the Regulators — in connection 
with the proposition that there were, with two 
or three exceptions, no prominent men among 
them — it is to be observed that the mere fact 
that Husbands was the ruling spirit among 
them is of itself almost conclusive evidence of 
the truth of the assertion. As to his character 
there is no difference of opinion, and as evi- 
dence of it very different authorities are now 

Governor Tryon wrote to the Earl of Hills- 
borough in 1768: "Not a person of the char- 
acter of a gentleman appeared among these 
insurgents. Herman Husbands appears to 
have planned their operations; he is of a fac- 
tious temper and has long since been expelled 
from the Society of the Quakers for the immo- 
rality of his life." 

Dr. Caruthers, the ablest apologist of the 
Regulators, admits that Husbands was not at 
that time in membership with the Quakers, 
although he had been ; and Dr. Wiley, another 
apologist, sa3^s Husbands " was not a char- 
acter worthy of much commendation." He 
was afterwards an active insurgent in the 
Whiskey Insurrection in Pennsylvania, which 
was suppressed by Washington, The two or 

And His Times. 153 

three exceptions which qualify the third 
proposition above advanced, were made ont of 
regard to some statements to be fonnd in the 
pages of several writers on the snbject of the 
Regnlators' War, bnt an examination of the 
sources of information on which they rely^ 
does not seem to warrant those statements in 
the unqualified form in which they appear. 
Not one of these excepted parties ever appeared 
in arms with the Regulators, or ever took part 
in their public acts, however much the}^ may 
have indulged in expressions of sympathy 
with them in their troubles. There is no evi- 
dence that they approved of the lawlessness 
and cruelty perpetrated by them. An idea 
once prevailed, and, perhaps, still prevails, 
that as the Rev. Dr. Caldwell was a mediator 
between the Regulators and the Governor, the 
members of the Presbyterian Church endorsed 
the Regulators and joined their ranks, and 
Messrs. Caruthers and Wiley, both of whom 
were Presbyterian ministers, have, in defend- 
ing the movement, strengthened the impression 
alluded to. But the facts do not warrant the 
conclusion. There were some members of Dr. 
Caldwell's charge among the Regulators, and 
Dr. Caldwell, an influential minister, was sup- 
posed to be in sympathj^ with them; but his 

154 A Colonial Officer 

sympath}' was not with them as Regulators, 
for even Caruthers, his biographer, sa3's that he 
disapproved of and condemned their measures. 

As a christian minister, he pitied them in 
distress and danger and tried to mitigate their 
punishment, but it is unjust to his memory to 
connect him any farther than this with the 
insurrection; audit is equally unjust to the 
Presbyterians of that day to fix upon them any 
part of the responsibilily. Four ministers of 
that church in 1768 wrote letters which Col. 
Osborn read to the troops when defending the 
Government, and Tryon himself wrote to Lord 
Hillsborough in December, 1768: "His Maj- 
esty's Presbyterian subjects showed themselves 
very lo3^al on this service, and I have a pleasure 
in acknowledging the utility that the Presb}^- 
terian ministers' letters to their brethren had 
upon the then face of public affairs." 

4. That the Regulators were not republicans 
is evident, both from their acts and declarations. 
They declared in an address to the Governor 
and Council, as follows: "We assure you that 
neither disloyalty to the best of Kings, nor 
dissatisfaction to the wholesomest constitution, 
nor yet dissatisfaction to the Legislature, gave 
rise to those commotions which now make so 
much noise." 

And His Times. 155 

They declared their opposition to the Judges 
because they had not been appointed by the 
King, and, according to the affidavit of Robert 
Lvtle, the}^ drank " damnation to King George 
and success to the Prcteiider^^^ in 1770. In 
addition to this they "eagerly" took the oath 
of allegiance after their defeat at Alamance, 
and subsequently became active Tories (with 
ver}' rare exceptions) in the Revolution. 

5. When the Revolutionary War broke out 
in North Carolina the new Governor, Martin, 
relied for support almost entireh' on the High- 
landers and Regulators, and he was not dis- 
appointed, for he found them zealous loyalists 
and cordial haters of the Whigs. The latter, 
when the Provincial Congress was called 
together by Samuel Johnston on the 20th of 
August, 1775, at Hillsborough, apprehended 
an attack from the Regulators. The fear was 
general among the members of that body that 
an attempt would be made to disperse them. 
If the Regulators were republicans and friends 
of the cause, how can this apprehension on the 
part of the Congress be accounted for? One 
Colson, who was, perhaps, the leader (and 
certainly was a prominent member) of the 
Regulators after Husbands fled, surrendered 
himself to that Congress, and, according to a 

156 A Colonial Officer 

letter written by Governor Johnston, "with 
every appearance of hnniility and contrition, 
even to the shedding of tears, has promised for 
the future to exert himself with as much assi- 
duity in favor of our measures, as he has hith- 
erto in opposition to the mi''' 

Thus the status of the Regulators is fixed, 
and, according to the evidence furnished by 
these two incidents — the apprehension of an 
attack on the Congress and the surrender of 
Colson — they were necessaril}' either Tories or 
banditti. The history of individuals will not 
be traced. 

6th. The sixth and last proposition was, that 
they were opposed by the prominent Whig 
leaders of that day; even b}^ such men as 
Griffith Rutherford and Willie Jones, who 
were considered ultra republicans after the 

No better test of popularity could be appealed 
to than was furnished by the men who, having 
opposed and suppressed the Regulators, be- 
came afterwards favorite officers in the Revo- 
lution ; and it is only necessar}- to mention 
some of their names, with the rank they 
attained, to prove it. (General Waddell died 
before the Revolution broke out, and, there- 
fore, is not included.) John Ashe and Robert 

And His Times. ' 157 

Howe became Major Generals; Francis Nash, 
Richard Caswell, James Moore, Alexander 
Lillington and Griffith Rntherford became 
Brigadier Generals; others became Colonels, 
Abner Nash became Major, and, like Caswell, 
afterwards Governor of the State. 

Jnstice, therefore, to the memor}- of these 
men who were before, during, and after the 
Regulators' War, prominent as the enemies of 
oppression and true patriots, requires that that 
outbreak which they suppressed should appear 
upon the page of history in its true light, 
viz.: as a lawless and seditious attempt to 
throw off the restraints of civilization and 
to redress grievances — which certainly ex- 
isted — b}" mob law. 

With the suppression of the Regulators the 
militar}^ career of General Waddell — which 
had extended over sixteen years, and had taken 
him from Fort Du Quesne on the Western 
border of Pennsylvania, to the Savannah river 
on the Southern border of South Carolina, and 
into Tennessee — ended. 

It is no part of the purpose of the writer to 
attempt a vindication of Governor Tryon, ex- 
cept so far as his performance of a plain duty in 
suppressing an outbreak which threatened ruin 
to the Province was concerned. His conduct. 

158 A Colonial Officer 

after suppressing it, was cruel and heartless, 
as well as contemptible and ridiculous. The 
execution of six prisoners at Hillsborough, 
including a wretched lunatic who was, tradi- 
tion says, made a maniac by personal wrongs 
of the most infamous character perpetrated b}^ 
some official, was as cruel as it was unneces- 

Tryon left North Carolina about a month 
after the battle of Alamance, to become Gov- 
ernor of New York, and about the same time 
a letter, signed "Atticus," appeared in the 
newspapers and was widely circulated through- 
out the country. This letter was written by 
Judge Maurice Moore, and added greatly to 
his reputation as a lawyer and writer of bril- 
liant talents. x\s it not only depicted Trj-on's 
character in vivid colors, but gave the best 
history of his administration, and was written 
by one who, although appointed a Judge by 
him and required, in the discharge of his 
official duties, to try such cases as were brought 
before him, had a very just estimate of the 
Governor; and as it has not been published in 
fifty years, it is here given in full: 

To his Excellency IVillimu Tryon ^ Esquire : 

I am too well acquainted with your charac- 
ter to suppose you can bear to be told of your 

And His TimEvS. 159 

faults with temper. You are too much of the 
soldier, aud too little of the philosopher, for 
repreheusion. With this opinion of 3'our Ex- 
cellency, I have more reason to believe that 
this letter will be mere serviceable to the prov- 
ince of New York, than useful or entertaining 
to its governor. The beginning of your ad- 
ministration in this province was marked with 
oppression and distress to its inhabitants. 
These, Sir, I do not place to your account ; 
they are derived from higher authority than 
3'ours. You were, however, a dull, yet willing 
instrument, in the hands of the British Min- 
istry to promote the means of both. You 
called together some of the principal inhabi- 
tants of 3'our neighborhood, and in a strange, 
inverted, self-aifecting speech, told them that 
3'ou had left 3'our native countr}^, friends, and 
connexions, and taken upon yourself the gov- 
ernment of North Carolina with no other view 
than to serve it. In the next breath, Sir, 3'ou 
advised them to submit to the Stamp Act, and 
become slaves. How could 3'ou reconcile such 
baneful advice with such friendl}- professions? 
But, Sir, self-contradictions with you have not 
been confined to words only ; they have been 
equall}^ extended to actions. On other occa- 
sions \^ou have played the governor with an 
air of greater dignity- and importance than an}^ 
of your predecessors; on this, 3'our Excellency 
was meanly content to solicit the currency of 
stamped paper in private companies. But, 
alas ! ministerial approbation is the first wish 

i6o A Colonial Officer 

of your heart; it is the best security you have 
for your office. Engaged as j^ou were in this 
disgraceful negotiation, the more important 
duties of the governor were forgotten, or wil- 
fully neglected. In murmuring, discontent, 
and public confusion, you left the colony com- 
mitted to your care, for near eighteen months 
together, without calling an assembly. The 
Stamp Act repealed, you called one; and a 
fatal one it was ! Under ever}^ influence your 
character afforded 3^ou, at this Assembly, was 
laid the foundation of all the mischief which 
has since befallen this unhappv province. A 
grant was made to the crown of five thousand 
pounds, to erect a house for the residence of a 
governor; and you, Sir, were solel}^ intrusted 
with the management of it. The infant and 
impoverished state of this country could not 
afford to make such a grant, and it was your 
duty to have been acquainted with the circum- 
stances of the colony you governed. This 
trust proved equally fatal to the interest of the 
province and to j^our Excellency's honor. You 
made use of it, Sir, to gratify your vanity, at 
the expense of both. It at once afforded you 
an opportunit}' of leaving an elegant monu- 
ment of your taste in building behind you, 
and giving the ministry an instance of 3'Our 
great influence and address in your new gov- 
ernment. You, therefore, regardless of every 
moral, as well as legal obligation, changed the 
plan of a province-house to that of a palace, 
worthy the residence of a prince of the blood, 

And His Times. i6i 

and augmented the expense to fifteen thousand 
pounds. Here, Sir, you betrayed 3'Our trust, 
disgracefully to the governor, and dishonora- 
bly to the man. This liberal and ingenious 
stroke in politics ma3^ for all I know, have 
promoted j^ou to the government of New York. 
Promotion may have been the reward of such 
sort of merit. Be this as it ma3^ you reduced 
the next Assembl}' you met to the unjust 
alternative of granting ten thousand pounds 
more, or sinking the five thousand they had 
already- granted. They chose the former. It 
was most pleasing to the governor, but directly 
contrary to the sense of their constituents. 
This public imposition upon a people, who, 
from poverty, were hardl}' able to pa}- the 
necessary expenses of government, occasioned 
general discontent, which your Excellenc}^ 
with wonderful address, improved into a civil 

In a colon}' without nionc}', and among a 
people, almost desperate with distress, public 
profusion should have been carefully' avoided ; 
but unfortunately for the country, \'ou were 
bred a soldier, and have a natural, as well as 
acquired fondness for military parade. You 
were intrusted to run a Cherokee boundary 
about ninety miles in length ; this little ser- 
vice at once afforded you an opportunity of 
exercising your militar}'' talents, and making 
a splendid exhibition of yourself to the Indians. 
To a gentleman of your Exceilenc^-'s turn of 
mind, this was no unpleasing prospect ; you 

1 62 A Colonial Officer 

marched to perform it, in a time of profound 
peace, at the head of a company of militia, in 
all the pomp of war, and returned with the 
honorable title, conferred on you by the Chero- 
kees, of Great M^olf of North Carol ina. This 
line of marked trees, and your Excellency's 
prophetic title, cost the province a greater sum 
than two pence a head, on all the taxable per- 
sons in it for one year, would pay. 

Your next expedition. Sir, was a more 
important one. Four or five hundred ignorant 
people, who called themselves Regulators, took 
it into their head to quarrel with their repre- 
sentative, a gentleman honored with your 
Excellency's esteem. They foolishly charged 
him with every distress they felt; and, in 
revenge, shot two or three musket balls through 
his house. They at the same time rescued a 
horse which had been seized for the public tax. 
These crimes were punishable in the courts of 
law, and at that time the criminals were amen- 
able to legal process. Your Excellency and 
your confidential friends, it seems, were of a 
different opinion. All your dutv could possi- 
bly require of you on this occasion, if it required 
an^^ thing eat all, was to direct a prosecution 
against th offenders. You should have care- 
fully avoided becoming a party in the dispute. 
But, Sir, your genius could not lie still ; 3^ou 
enlisted yourself a volunteer in this service, 
and entered into a negotiation with the Regu- 
lators, which at once disgraced 3'ou and encour- 
aged them. They despised the governor who 

And His Times. 163 

had degraded his own character by taking part 
in a private quarrel, and insulted the man 
whom they considered as personally their 
enemy. The terms of accommodation your 
Excellency had offered them were treated with 
contempt. What they were, I never knew; 
they could not have related to public offences ; 
these belong to another jurisdiction. All hopes 
of settling the mighty contest b\^ treaty ceas- 
ing, you prepared to decide it by means more 
agreeable to your martial disposition, an appeal 
to the sword. You took the field in September, 
1768, at the head of ten or twelve hundred men, 
and published an oral manifesto, the substance 
of wdiich was, that you had taken up arms to 
protect a superior court of justice from insult. 
Permit me here to ask you. Sir, why you were 
apprehensive for the court? Was the court 
apprehensive for itself? Did the judges, or the 
attorne3'-general, address 3^our Excellency for 
protection ? So far from it, Sir, if these gentle- 
men are to be believed, they never entertained 
the least suspicion of any insult, unless it was 
that which they afterwards experienced from 
the undue influence you offered to extend to 
them, and the military display of drums, colors, 
and guards, with which they were surrounded 
and disturbed. How fully has your conduct, 
on a like occasion since, testified that you 
acted in this instance from passion, and not 
from principle! In September, 1770, the Regu- 
lators forcibly obstructed the proceedings of 
Hillsborough Superior Court, obliged the offi- 

164 A Colonial Officer 

cers to leave it, and blotted out the records. A 
little before the next term, when their contempt 
of courts was sufficiently proved, you wrote an 
insolent letter to the judges, and attorney- 
general, commanding them to attend to it. 
Why did 3''0U not protect the court at this time? 
You will blush at the answer. Sir. The con- 
duct of the Regulators, at the preceding term, 
made it more than probable that those gentle- 
men would be insulted at this, and \'ou were 
not unwilling to sacrifice them to increase the 
guilt of 3^our enemies. 

Your Excellency said that you had armed 
to protect a court. Had you said to revenge 
the insult you and your friends had received, 
it would have been more generally credited in 
this countr\' . The men, for the trial of whom 
the court was thus extravagantly protected, of 
their own accord, squeezed through a crowd of 
soldiers, and surrendered themselves, as if the}- 
were bound to do so by their recognizance. 

Some of these people were convicted, fined, 
and imprisoned, which put an end to a piece 
of knight-errantry, equally aggravating to the 
populace and burthensome to the country-. On 
this occasion. Sir, you were alike successful in 
the diffusion of a military spirit through the 
colony and in the warlike exhibition you set 
before the public ; 3^ou at once disposed the 
vulgar to hostilities, and proved the legalit^^ of 
arming, in cases of dispute, bj^ example. Thus 
warranted b\' precedent and tempered b\' s\an- 
pathy, popular discontent soon became resent- 

And His TimEvS. 165 

ment and opposition; revenge superseded jus- 
tice, and force the laws of the country ; courts 
of law were treated with contempt, and gov- 
ernment itself set at defiance. For upwards 
of two months was the frontier part of the 
country left in a state of perfect anarchy. 
Your Excellency then thought fit to consult 
the representatives of the people, who pre- 
sented you a bill which you passed into a law. 
The design of this act was to punish past riots 
in a new jurisdiction, to create new offences 
and to secure the collection of the public tax; 
which, ever since the province had been sad- 
dled with a palace, the Regulators had refused 
to pay. The jurisdiction for holding pleas of 
all capital offences was, by a former law, con- 
fined to the particular district in which they 
were committed. This act did not change that 
jurisdiction; yet your Excellenc}^, in the ful- 
ness of your power, established a new one for 
the trial of such crimes in a different district. 
Whether you did this through ignorance or 
design can only be determined in your own 
breast; it was equally violative of a sacred 
right, every British subject is entitled to, of 
being tried b}' his neighbours, and a positive 
law of the province you yourself had ratified. 
In this foreign jurisdiction, bills of indictment 
were preferred, and found, as well for felonies 
as riots against a number of Regulators ; they 
refused to surrender themselves within the 
time limited by the riot act, and your Excel- 
lency opened your third campaign. These 

1 66 A Colonial Officer 

indictments charged the crimes to have been 
committed in Orange Count}-, in a distinct 
district from that in which the court was held. 
The superior court law prohibits prosecution 
for capital offences in any other district than 
that in which the^- were committed. What 
distinctions the gentlemen of the Iouq- robe 
might make on such an occasion I do not 
know, but it appears to me those indictments 
might as well have been found in your Excel- 
lency's kitchen; and give me leave to tell you, 
Sir, that a man is not bound to answer \o a 
charge that a court has no authorit}- to make, 
nor doth the law punish a neglect to perform 
that which it does not command. The riot 
act declared those onl}- outlawed who refused 
to answer to indictments legally found. Those 
who had been capitally charged were illegally- ' 
indicted, and could not be outlaws; j^et your 
Excellency proceeded against them as such. 
I mean to expose your blunders, not to defend 
their conduct; that was as insolent and daring 
as the desperate state your administration had 
reduced them to could possiblj^ occasion. I am 
willing to give you full credit for every service 
you have rendered this country'. Your active 
and gallant behaviour, in extinguishing the 
flame you yourself had kindled, does you great 
honor. For once your militar}^ talents were 
useful to the province; you braveh' met in the 
field, and vanquished, an host of scoundrels, 
whom you had made intrepid by abuse. It 
seems difficult to determine. Sir, whether your 

And His Tiiniks. 167 

Excellency is more to be admired for your skill 
in creatino- the cause, or your bravery in sup- 
pressing the effect. This single action would 
have blotted out for ever half the evils of j^our 
administration; but alas! Sir, the conduct of 
the general after his victory, was more dis- 
graceful to the hero who obtained it, than that 
of the man before it had been to the governor. 
Wlu' did you stain so great an action with the 
blood of a prisoner who was in a state of 
insanity? The execution of James Few was 
inhuman; that miserable wretch was entitled 
to life till nature, or the laws of his country, 
deprived him of it. The battle of the Alle- 
mance was over; the soldier was crowned with 
success, and the peace of the proyince restored. 
There was no necessity for the infamous ex- 
ample of an arbitrary execution, without judge 
or jury. I can freely forgive you, Sir, for 
killing Robert Thompson, at the beginning of 
the battle; he was your prisoner, and was 
making his escape to fight against you. The 
laws of self-preservation sanctified the action, 
and justly entitle 3'our Excellenc}' to an act of 

The sacrifice of Few, under the criminal 
circumstances, could neither atone for his 
crime nor abate your rage ; this task was 
reserved for his unhappy parents. Your ven- 
geance. Sir, in this instance, it seems, moved 
in a retrograde direction to that proposed in 
the second commandment against idolaters; 
you visited the sins of the child upon the father, 

1 68 A Colonial Officer 

and, for want of the third and fonrth genera- 
tion to extend it to, collaterally divided it 
between brothers and sisters. The heavy 
affliction, with which the untimeU' death of a 
son had bnrthened his parents, was snfficient 
to have cooled the resentment of any man, 
whose heart was snsceptible of the feelings of 
hnmanity; j^onrs, I am afraid, is not a heart 
of that kind. If it is, why did you add 
to the distresses of that family? Why refuse 
the petition of the town of Hillsborough in 
favor of them, and unrelentingly destroy, as 
far as you could, the means of their future 
existence? It was cruel. Sir, and unworthy a 

Your conduct to others after your success, 
whether it respected person or property, was 
as lawless as it was unnecessarily expensive 
to the colony. When your Excellency had 
exemplified the power of government in the 
death of a hundred Regulators, the survivors, 
to a man, became proselytes to government; 
the}^ readily swallowed your new-coined oath, 
to be obedient to the laws of the province, and 
to pay the public taxes. It is a pit}^. Sir, that 
in devising this oath, 3''ou had not attended to 
the morals of those people. You might easily 
have restrained every criminal inclination, and 
have made them good men, as well as good 
subjects. The battle of the Allemance had 
equally disposed them to moral and to political 
conversion; there was no necessity. Sir, when 
the people were reduced to obedience, to ravage 
the countr}'', or to insult individuals. 

And His Times. 169 

Had 3-oiir Excellency nothing else in view 
than to enforce a submission to the laws of the 
countiy, you might safely have disbanded the 
army within ten days after your victory; in 
that time the chiefs of the Regulators were 
run away, and their deluded followers had 
returned to their homes. Such a measure 
would have saved the province twenty thou- 
sand pounds at least. But, Sir, you had 
farther employment for the army; you were, 
by an extraordinary bustle in administering 
oaths, and disarming the country, to give a 
serious appearance of rebellion to the outrage 
of a mob; you were to aggravate the impor- 
tance of your own services by changing a 
general dislike of your administration into 
disaffection to his Majesty's person and gov- 
ernment, and the riotous conduct that dislike 
had occasioned into premeditated rebellion. 
This scheme, Sir, is really an ingenious one; 
if it succeeds, you may possibly be rewarded 
for your services with the honor of knighthood. 

From the 16th of May to the i6th of June, 
you were busied in securing the allegiance of 
rioters, and levying contributions of beef and 
flour. You occasionalh" amused yourself with 
burning a few houses, treading down corn, 
insulting the suspected, and holding courts- 
martial. These courts took cognizance of civil 
as well as military offences, and even extended 
their jurisdiction to ill-breeding and want of 
good manners. One Johnston, who was a 
reputed Regulator, but whose greatest crime^ 


170 A Colonial Officer 

I believe, was writing an impudent letter to 
your lad}', was sentenced, in one of these mili- 
tary courts, to receive five hundred lashes, and 
received two hundred and fifty of them accord- 
ingl}'. But, Sir, however exceptionable 3'our 
conduct ma}' have been on this occasion, it 
bears little proportion to that which you 
adopted on the trial of the prisoners j^ou had 
taken. These miserable wretches were to be 
tried for a crime made capital b}- a temporar}- 
act of Assembl}' of twelve months' duration. 
That act had, in great tenderness to his Alaj- 
esty's subjects, converted riots into treasons. 
A rigorous and punctual execution of it was 
as unjust as it was politically unnecessary. 
The terror of the examples now proposed to 
be made under it was to expire, with the law, 
in less than nine months after. The suffer- 
ings of these people could therefore amount to 
little more than mere punishment to them- 
selves. Their offences were derived from 
public and from private impositions; and they 
w^ere the followers, not the leaders, in the 
crimes they had committed. Never were 
criminals more justU' entitled to every lenity 
the law could afford them ; but, Sir, no con- 
sideration could abate your zeal in a cause 3'ou 
had transferred from yourself to your sover- 
eign. You shamefully exerted every influence 
of your character against the lives of these 
people. As soon as you were told that an in- 
dulgence of one day had been granted by the 
court to two men to send for witnesses, who 

And His Times. 171 

actually established their innocence, and saved 
their lives, you sent an aid-de-camp to the 
judges and attorney-general, to acquaint them 
that you were dissatisfied with the inactivity 
of their conduct, and threatened to represent 
them unfavorably in Eugland. if they did not 
proceed with more spirit and despatch. Had 
the court submitted to influence, all testimony 
on the part of the prisoners would have been 
excluded ; they must have been condemned, to 
a man. You said that your solicitude for the 
condemnation of these people arose from your 
desire of manifesting the lenity of government 
in their pardon. How have your actions con- 
tradicted your words ! Out of twelve that were 
condemned, the lives of six only were spared. 
Do you know, Sir, that your lenity on this 
occasion was less than that of the bloodj^ 
Jeffries in 1685? He condemned five hundred 
persons, but saved the lives of two hundred 
and seventy. 

In the execution of the six devoted offenders, 
your Excellency was as short of General Kirk 
in form, as you were of Judge Jeffries in lenity, 
That general honored the execution he had 
the charge of with play of pipes, sound of 
trumpets, and beat of drums; you were con- 
tent with the silent displa^^ of colors only. 
The disgraceful part you acted in this cere- 
mony, of pointing out the spot for erecting the 
gallows, and clearing the field around for 
drawing up the army in form, has left a ridicu- 
lous idea of j^onr character behind you, which 

172 A Colonial Officer 

bears a strong resemblance to that of a busy 
undertaker at a funeral. This scene closed 
your Excellency's administration in this coun- 
try, to the great joy of every man in it, a few 
of your own contemptible tools onl}' excepted. 

Were I personally your Excellency's enemy, 
I would follow you into the shade of life, and 
show you equally the object of pity and con- 
tempt to the wise and serious, and of jest and 
ridicule to the ludicrous and sarcastic. Truly 
pitiable. Sir, is the pale and trembling impa- 
tience of your temper. No character, however 
distinguished for wisdom and virtue, can sanc- 
tify the least degree of contradiction to your 
political opinions. On such occasions. Sir, in 
a rage, you renounce the character of a gentle- 
man, and precipitately mark the most exalted 
merit with every disgrace the haught}^ inso- 
lence of a governor can inflict upon it. To 
this unhappy temper. Sir, may be ascribed 
most of the absurdities of your administration 
in this country. It deprived you of every 
assistance men of spirit and abilities could have 
given you, and left you, with all 3'our passions 
and inexperience about j^ou, to blunder through 
the duties of your office, supported and ap- 
proved by the most profound ignorance and 
abject servility. 

Your pride has as often exposed you to ridi- 
cule, as the rude petulance of your disposition 
has to contempt. Your solicitude about the 
title of Her Excellency for Mrs. Tr3'on, and 
the arrogant reception you gave to a respect- 

And His Times. 173 

able company at an entertainment of your own 
making, seated with your lady by your side 
on elbow-chairs, in the middle of the ball-room, 
bespeak a littleness of mind, which, believe 
me, Sir, when blended with the dignity and 
importance of your office, renders you truly 

High stations have often proved fatal to 
those who have been promoted to them ; yours. 
Sir, has proved so to you. Had you been con- 
tented to pass through life in a subordinate 
military character, with the private virtues you 
have, you might have lived serviceable to your 
country, and reputable to yourself; but. Sir, 
when, "with every disqualifying circumstance, 
you took upon you the government of a prov- 
ince, though you gratified your ambition, you 
made a sacrifice of 3^ourself. 
Yours, &c. 


In an old volume, containing a number of 
pamphlets and letters of the Revolutionary 
period, which has recently come into the 
writer's possession, there are some amusing 
criticisms of Try on, written from New York 
by a Loyalist. In one letter, dated December 
loth, 1777, the writer says that Tryon's inju- 
dicious conduct had been of infinite prejudice 
to the British cause — that he followed the 
army everywhere, administering oaths of alle- 
giance, and '^ puffing off his assiduity;" and 

174 A Colonial Officer 

that as one method of converting the rebels he 
sent out officers with flags of truce, loaded 
down with sermons to distribute among them — 
"with which sermons the rebels light their 
tobacco-pipes, or expend them in other neces- 
sary uses." Again he sa^^s: "Governor, now 
General, Tryon, who is the pink of politeness, 
and the quintescence of vanity, chose to dis- 
tinguish himself by petitioning that the Pro- 
vincials under his command should occupy the 
outposts at Kingsbridge ; he had his wish for a 
long time, by which we lost numbers of our 
best recruits. The man is generous, perfectly 
good-natured, and no doubt brave; but weak 
and vain to an extreme degree. You should 
keep such people at home, they are excellent 
for a court parade. I wish Mrs. Tryon would 
send for him." 

Note. — The following is the Act of the Legislature in regard 
to the Regulators. It was an exceedingly harsh measure, but 
it was the Act of North Carolinians themselves, and not of the 
British Crown or Parliament. So far from being the latter, as 
soon as it reached England it was repudiated and denounced, 
and similar legislation was forever forbidden ; so that, as is 
urged in the text, it was not "British" oppression against 
which the Regulators contended : 

An Act for preventing Tumults and Riotous Assemblies, for 

the more speedy and effectual punishing the Rioters and for 

restoring and preserving the Public Peace of this Province, 

Whereas of late many seditious Riots and tumults have been 

in divers Parts of this Province to the disturbance of the Public 

And His Times. 175 

Peace, the Obstruction of the Course of Justice, and tending to 
subvert the Constitution, and the same are yet continued and 
fomented by Persons disaffected to his Majestj''s government. 
And whereas it hath been doubted by some how far the Laws 
now in Force are sufficient to inflict punishment adequate to 
such heinous Offences. 

Be it therefore enacted by the Governor, Councill and Assem- 
bly, and by the Authority of the same, That if any Persons to 
the number of ten or more, being unlawfully and tumultuously 
and riotously assembled together, to the disturbance of the 
Public Peace, at any time after the first Day of February next, 
and being openly required or commanded by any one or more 
Justices of the Peace or Sheriff to disperse themselves, and 
peaceably to depart to their habitations, shall to the number of 
ten or more, notwithstanding such Command or Request made 
remain or continue together by the space of one Hour after 
such Command or request, that their continuing together to the 
nuinber of ten or more shall be adjudged Felony, and the 
offenders therein and each of them, shall be adjudged Felons 
and shall suffer Death as in case of Felony and shall be utterly 
excluded from his or their clergy, if found guilty by a verdict 
of a Jury or shall confess the same, upon his or their arraign- 
ment or will not answer directly to the same, according to the 
Laws of this Province, or shall stand mute or shall be outlawed, 
and ever}^ such Justice of the Peace and Sheriff within the 
limits of their respective Jurisdictions, are hereby authorized, 
impowered and required on Notice or Knowledge of any such 
unlawful, riotous and tumultuous Assembly to resort to the 
Place where such unlawful riotous, and tumultuous Assembly 
shall be, of Persons to the Number of ten or more and there to 
make, or cause to be made such Request or Command. 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that if 
such Persons so unlawfully, riotouslj- and tumultuously assem- 
bled or ten or more of them, after such Request or Command 
made in manner aforesaid shall continue together and not dis- 
perse themselves within one Hour, that then it shall and may 
be lawful to and for every Justice of the Peace or Sheriff of the 
County where such Assembly shall be and also to and for such 

176 A Colonial Officer 

Person or Persous as shall be commanded to the aiding and 
assisting to any such Justice of the Peace or Sheriff, who are 
hereby authorized, impowered and required to command of 
His Majesty's Subjects of this Province of Age and Ability to 
be assisting to them therein, to seize and apprehend such Per- 
sons so unlawfully, riotously and tumultuously continuing 
together, after such Request or Command made as aforesaid 
and forthwith to carry the persons so apprehended before one 
or more of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace of the County 
where such Persons shall be so apprehended in Order to their 
being proceeded against for such their Offences according to 
Law. And that if the Persons so unlawfully riotously and 
tumultuously assembled or any of them shall happen to be 
killed maimed or hurt in the dispersing, seizing or apprehend- 
ing or endeavoring to disperse, seize or apprehend them by- 
Reason of their resistance that then every such justice of the 
Peace, Sheriff under Sheriff and all other Persons being aiding 
or assisting to them or any of them shall be free discharged 
and indemnified, as well against the King, his Heirs and Suc- 
cessors as against all and every other Person and Persons of 
for and concerning the killing, maiming or hurting of any such 
Person or Persous so unlawfully riotously and tumultuously 

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that if 
any Persons to the Number of Ten or more, unlawfully, riot- 
ously or tumultuously assembled together to the disturbance of 
the public Peace, shall unlawfully and with Force at any time 
after the first Day of March next, during the sitting of any of 
the Courts of Judicature within the Province, with an intention 
to destruct or disturb the proceedings of such Court, assault, 
beat or wound or openly threaten to assault, beat or wound 
any of the Judges, Justices or other Oflficer of such Court, during 
the continuance of the term or shall assault, beat or wound or 
openly threaten to assault, beat or wound, or shall unlawfully 
and with force hinder and destruct any Sheriff, Under Sheriff, 
Coroner or Collector of the public Taxes in the discharge or 
execution of his or their office or shall unlawfully and with 
Force demolish, pull down or destroy or begin to demolish, 

And His Times. 177 

pull down or destroy any Church or Chapel or any Building 
for religious Worship o- any Court House or Prison or any 
Dwelling House, Barn Stable or other Outhouse that then every 
such offence shall be adjudged Felony. And the Offenders 
therein their leaders abettors and Advisers shall be adjudged 
felons and shall suffer death as in due case of felony and be 
utterly excluded from his or their clergy, if found guilty by 
verdict of a Jury or shall confess the same upon his or their 
arraignment or will not answer directly to the same according 
to the laws of this Province or shall stand mute or shall be out- 

And whereas it hath been found by experience that there is 
great difficulty in bringing to justice Persons who have been or 
may be guilty of any of the Offences before mentioned : For 
Remedy thereof, Be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid that 
it shall and may be lawful to and for the Attorney General of 
this Province for the time being or his deputies to commence 
Prosecutions against any Person or Persons who have anj^ time 
since the first Day of March last or shall at any time hereafter 
commit or perpetrate any of the Crimes or Offences herein 
before mentioned in any Superior Court with this Province 
or in any Court of Oyer and Terminer by the Governor or 
Commander in Chief for the time being, specially instituted 
and appointed and the Judges or Justices of such Court are 
hereby authorized, impowered and required to take Cognizance 
of all such Crimes and Offences, and proceed to give Judgment 
and award Execution thereon, although in a different County 
or District from that wherein the Crime was committed and 
that all Proceedings thereupon shall be deemed equally valid 
ami sufficient in Law as if the same had been prosecuted in the 
County or District wherein the Offence was committed, any 
Law, Usage or Custom to the Contrary notwithstanding. 

And be it further enacted, by the Authority aforesaid that 
the Judges or Justices of such Court of Oyer and Terminer so 
commissioned shall direct the Clerk of the District wherein 
such Court of Oyer and Terminer is to be held to issue Writs 
of \'enire Facias, and the proceedings thereon to be in all 
respects the same as directed by an Act of Assembly passed at 
New Bern in January in the year of our Lord One thousand 

178 A Colonial Officer 

seven hundred and sixty eight intituled An Act for dividing 
this Province into six several districts and for establishing a 
superior Court of Justice in each of the said districts and regu- 
lating the proceedings therein, and for providing adequate 
salaries for .the Chief Justice and the Associate Justices of the 
said superior Courts. 

• Provided nevertheless that no Person or Persons heretofore 
guilty of any of the Crimes or Offences in this Act beforemen- 
tioned although convicted thereof in a different County or 
district from that wherein such Offence was committed shall 
be subject to any other or greater punishment than he or they 
would or might have been had this Act never been made. 

And to the end that the Justice of the Province be not eluded 
by the resistance or escape of such enormous Offenders, Be it 
further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that from and after 
the passing of this Act, if any Bill or Bills of any indictment 
be found or presentment or presentments made against any 
Person or Persons for any of the Crimes or Offences herein 
before mentioned it shall and may be Lawful for the Judges 
or Justices of the Supreme Court or Court of Oyer and Ter- 
miner, wherein such Indictment shall be found or presentment 
made and they are hereby impowered and required to issue 
their proclamation to be affixed or put up at the Court House 
and each Church and Chappel of the County where the Crime 
was committed, commanding the Person or Persons against 
whom such Bill of Indictment is found or presentment made 
to surrender himself or themselves to the Sheriff of the County 
wherein such Court is held within sixty Days. And in case 
such Person or Persons do not surrender himself or themselves 
accordingly, he or they shall be deemed guilty of the oflence 
charged in the Indictment found or presentment made in like 
manner as if he or they had been arraigned and convicted 
thereof by due Course of Law, And it shall and may be lawful 
to and for any Person or Persons to kill and destroy such 
Offenders, and such Person or Persons killing such Offender 
or Offenders shall be free discharged and indemnified, as well 
against the King, his Heirs and successors, as against all and 
every Person and Persons for and concerning the killing and 
destroying such Offender or Offenders and the lands and 

And His Times. i79 

chattels of such Offender or Offenders shall be forfeited to his 
Majesty, his Heirs and successors, to be sold by the Sheriff, 
for the best Price that may be had, at public Vendue, after 
notice by advertisement ten Days and the Monies arising from 
such sale, to be paid to the Treasurer of the District wherein 
the same shall be sold and applied towards defraying the con- 
tingent Charges of government. 

And whereas by the late Riots and Insurrections at the last 
Superior Court held for the district of Hillsborough it may be 
justly apprehended that some endeavors will be made to pro- 
tect those who have been guilty of such Riots and Insurrections 
as well as those who may hereafter be guilty of the Crimes and 
Offences herein before mentioned : For Prevention thereof and 
restoring Peace and Stability to the regular government of this 
Province, Be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that the 
Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being is hereby 
fully authorized and empowered to order and command that 
necessary draughts be made from the different Regiments of 
Militia in this Province to be under the Command of such 
Officer or Officers as he may think proper to appoint for that 
purpose at the Public Expence to be by him employed in Aid 
and Assistance of the Execution of this Law, as well as to pro- 
tect the Sheriffs and Collectors of the public Revenue in Dis- 
charge of their several duties, which draught or Detachments 
of Officers and Soldiers when made shall be found, provided 
for, and paid, in the same manner and at the same rates and 
subject to the same Rules and Discipline as directed in case of 
an Insurrection in and by an Act of Assembly made in the year 
of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and sixty eight, 
entitled. An Act for the establishing a Militia in this Province. 
And for effectually carrying into execution the purposes 
aforesaid, Be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that it shall 
and may be Lawful for the Governor and Commander in Chief 
for the time being to draw upon both or either of the Publick 
Treasurers of this Province by Warrant from under his Hand 
and Seal, for Payment of any such sums of Money as shall or 
may be immediately necessary for the carrying on and per- 
forming of such Service and the said Treasurers or either of 
them are hereby directed and required to answer and pay such 

i8o A Colonial Officer 

Warrants as aforesaid out of the contingent Fund, which shall 
be allowed in their settlement of the Public Accounts. 

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that 
if any number of Men shall be found embodied and in an armed 
and hostile Manner, to withstand or oppose any military Forces, 
raised in Virtue of this Act, and shall when openly and pub- 
licity required, commanded by any Justice of the Peace or 
Sheriff of the County where the same shall happen, to lay 
down their Arms and surrender themselves, and then and in 
such Case the said Persons so unlawfully assembled and with- 
standing, opposing and resisting shall be considered as Traitors 
and may be treated accordingU. 

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that 
the Justices of every Superior Court shall cause this Act to be 
read at the Court House Door, the second Day of each Court 
for their Counties, and that the Minister, Clerk or Reader of 
every Parish in this Province shall read or cause the same to 
be read at every Church, Chappel or other Place of Public 
Worship within their respective Parishes, once in three Months 
at least immediately after Divine Service, during the continu- 
ance of this Act. 

And be it enacted, by the authority aforesaid that this act 
shall continue and be in Force for one year and no longer. 

Read three times in open Assembly and Ratified the i5tli 
Day of January 1771. 

William Tryon, 
James Hasell, 

Richard Ca.swell, 

A true Copy of An Act passed last vSession of Assembly. 

Robert Palmer, 

And His Times. i8i 


The Social Life of the Colony— Marriage of General Wadrlell — 
His Civil Services — Family — Death — Will — Conclusion of 

^ f "^HERE is, to the curious in such matters, 
^ a mine of the most interesting information 
hidden in the musty records of the oldest 
counties in North Carolina, and until these 
records shall have been exhausted — and as yet 
the}^ have hardly been tapped — there will be 
no perfect portrait of the early civilization of 
the State. 

The minute books of the Courts, of which 
tribunals there were at different times various 
sorts with curious and conflicting jurisdictions, 
and the records of wills and deeds in the 
Clerks' and Registers' offices, present the most 
attractive field of investigation ; and these, 
with the private correspondence and traditions 
which have been preserved in many families, 
afford the best if not the only accurate picture 
of the social life and customs of the people. 

Some of these customs lingered long after 
the beginning of the present century, and in 

1 82 A Colonial Officer 

some parts of the State had not totally disap- 
peared by the middle of it. Especiall}^ was 
this true of the Scotch element of the popula- 
tion, who settled on and near the upper Cape 
Fear river, and some of whose customs are 
still preserved in a more or less modified form 
by their descendants. The settlers who came 
to the Colony from Ireland were themselves of 
Scotch descent or birth, and were known as 
Scotch-Irish. The Rowans, whose name 
was pronounced Roan, came originally from 
Lanarkshire in Scotland, as did the ancestors of 
General Waddell, and it was, doubtless, through 
the connection or association of these families 
and that of Dobbs that young Waddell was 
induced to come to North Carolina. 

The social life was a reflex of that in the old 
country, and to the miserable libels which, 
under the name of history, have been pub- 
lished concerning the civilization of the Colony, 
it is only necessary to give for answer the 
names and attainments of some of the leading 
spirits who lived in it. From a glance at them 
it will plainly appear that, so far from being 
the rude — much less the ignorant and de- 
graded — society sometimes represented, they 
were, in proportion to population, equal in 
social and intellectual culture to and as much 

And His Times. i8 

attached to the principles of enlightened libert}^ 
as any people on the continent. Alan}- of them 
were educated in Knglish universities, or at 
Edinboro or Dublin, and owned large estates 
where they dispensed a generous and elegant 
hospitality. In the Northern end of the 
Colony, "the Court end of the Province," in 
and around Edenton, "there was," says McRee 
in his Li/e and Correspondence of James Iredell^ 
"in proportion to its population, a greater 
number of men eminent for ability, virtue and 
erudition than in any other part of America," 
and he gives a long list of names with a brief 
biographical notice of each in proof of his 
assertion.'-' This list includes John Harvey, 
who was imquestionably a man of great intel- 
lectual endowments, and who, but for his death 
in 1775, would have been a great leader among 
the statesmen of the Revolution ; Joseph 
Hewes, one of the signers of the Declaration 
of Independence; Samuel Johnston, a great 
lawyer, Governor of the State and the first 
Senator from North Carolina in 1789; Colonel 
John Dawson, a lawyer, whose mansion, " Eden 
House," was the resort of a "refined society," 
and the seat of a " splendid hospitality," as 

*Vol. I, II. 

184 A Colonial Officer 

testified to bj- ]Mr. Avery (who was himself a 
graduate of Princeton, was a signer of the 
Mecklenburg Declaration, and Attorney' Gene- 
ral of the State); Colonel Edward Buncombe, 
an educated English gentleman of large wealth, 
who was Colonel of the 5th Regiment of North 
Carolina Troops, and killed at Germantown 
1777; Thomas Jones, a distinguished lawyer, 
who drafted the State Constitution in 1776; 
Sir Nathaniel Dukinfield, a member of the 
Council — and many others, professional men, 
merchants and planters, to whom is to be 
added James Iredell, the great law3^er, who was 
afterwards a Justice of the Supreme Court of 
the United States. 

In the Southern end of the Province, at 
Brunswick and Wilmington, and along the 
Cape Fear, there was an equally refined and 
cultivated society and some very remarkable 
men. No better society existed in America, 
and it is but simple truth to say that for clas- 
sical learning, wit, oratory, and varied accom- 
plishments no generation of their successors 
has equalled them. 

Their hospitality was boundless and pro- 
verbial, and of the manner in which it was 
enjoyed there can be no counterpart in the 
present age. Some of them had town resi- 

And His Times. 185 

deuces, but most of tliein lived on their planta- 
tions, and they were not the thriftless char- 
acters that by some means it became fashionable 
to assume that all Southern planters were. 
There was much gayety and festivity among 
them, and some of them rode hard to hounds^ 
but as a general rule they looked after their 
estates, and kept themselves as well informed 
in regard to what was going on in the world 
as the limited means of communication allowed. 
There was little display, but in almost every 
house could be found valuable plate, and, in 
some, excellent libraries. The usual mode of 
travel was on horseback, and in "gigs" or 
" chairs," which were vehicles without springs 
biit hung on heavy straps, and to which one 
horse, and sometimes, by young beaux, two 
horses tandem were driven ; a mounted servant 
rode behind, or, if the gig was occupied by 
ladies, beside the horse. The family coach 
was mounted by three steps, and had great 
• carved leather springs, with baggage rack 
behind, and a high, narrow driver's seat and 
box in front. The gentlemen wore clubbed 
and powdered queues and knee-breeches, with 
buckled low-quartered shoes, and many carried 
gold or silver snuff-boxes which, being first 
tapped, were handed with grave courtes}^ 


i86 A Colonial Officer 

to their acquaintances when passing the 
compliments of the day. There are per- 
sons still living who remember seeing these 
things in their earl}^ youth. The writer of 
these lines himself remembers seeing in his 
childhood the decaying remains of old "chairs" 
and family coaches, and knew at that time 
several old negroes who had been bod}' ser- 
vants in their youth to the proprietors of these 
ancient vehicles. It is no wonder the}' some- 
times drove the coaches four-in-hand. It was 
not only grand st\'le, but the weight of the 
vehicle and the character of the roads made it 

During the period embraced in these pages, 
four-wheeled pleasure vehicles were rare, and 
even two-wheeled ones were not common, 
except among the town nabobs and well-to-do 
planters. The coaches, or chariots, as a certain 
class of vehicles was called, were all imported 
from England, and the possession of such a 
means of locomotion was evidence of hiofh 
social position. It was less than twent\' years 
before the period named, that the first stage 
ivagon in the Colonies, in 1738, was run from 
Trenton to New Brunswick, in New Jersey, 
twice a week, and the advertisement of it 
assured the public that it would be "fitted up 

And His Times. 187 

with benches and covered over so that passen- 
gers ma}^ sit easy and dry.'"-' 

The inns, ordinaries, or taverns, as they 
were called before the word Jiotcl was borrowed 
from the French, were few and far between, 
and were of the most primitive kind, and the 
consequence was, that every man of substance 
kept open house and entertained any respect- 
able traveller, as a matter of course, without 
charge. There was not enough travel to make 
it burdensome, and the occasional travellers 
were to their hosts what the newspapers of 
to-da}' are to their descendants ; and the inform- 
ation imparted by them and the pleasure of 
their company, if they were intelligent, sup- 
plied the place of the currency which was 
generally requisite to every traveller in other 
parts of the country when seeking " enter- 
tainment for man and beast." These mere 
travellers seldom passed through the back set- 
tlements, but only along or near the seacoast, 
as that was the most populous and wealthy 
region of the country, but if they did wander 
farther into the interior the hospitality was as 
cordial, if less elegant in its surroundings. 
This characteristic of the people of North 

*Eilward Eggleston in Century Magazine for August, 1885. 

1 88 A Colonial Officer 

Carolina marks them as distinctly now as it 
did then, bnt, thanks to railroads and modern 
civilization, they are not recjnired to manifest 
it in the same way. 

As the Northern Colonies soon became popu- 
lous and their commercial and manufacturing 
interests became dominant, there was a corre- 
sponding change in their social customs; but 
in the South, which has alwaj^s been the land 
of the planter, the conditions, until a very 
recent period, were little varied, and the social 
life of the people remained much the same. It 
was, necessarily, for the most part, a simple 
and unpretending life, in which the cardinal 
virtues were cultivated, and it was, in some 
respects, siii generis. It bred pure women 
and brave men who did not measure the merits 
of others, or their own, by the extent of their 
worldly possessions, and did not recognize the 
golden calf as an object of worship. 

It was a life given to hospitality, and, 
although marked by some features which 
appear rude and unattractive to modern e3'es, 
was characterized by others which might be 
imitated with profit by the present generation. 
The respect for authority, the deference paid 
to age, to parents, and to women, and the 
sense of personal honor among men which 

And His Times. 189 

prevailed, would be regarded as quite fantastic 
in this age of superior enlightenment; but 
they are, after all, the truest signs of real 
civilization and the safest guarantees of good 

There seems to have been, from a very early 
period, a decided taste for the drama in Wil- 
mington, which was one of the mau}- evidences 
of culture amoii^ the people. Indeed, the first 
drama ever written in America was written 
there in 1759 b}- a 3'oung man named Thomas 
Godfrey, a native of Philadelphia, who died in 
Wilmington August 3d, 1763, aged 27, and is 
buried in St. James's church-yard. His father, 
of the same name, in 1730, made the improve- 
ment on Davis's quadrant, for which the Royal 
Society granted him ^ 200. 

Young Godfrey's tragedy was entitled "A 
Prince of Parthia." It was, with some of the 
author's poems, edited by Nathaniel Evans, 
and published in Philadelphia in 1765. It 
gave much promise, but the early death of the 
author dashed the hopes of his friends. In 
Tjder's " History of American Literature," it 
is thus spoken of: "The whole drama is pow- 
erful in diction and in action; the characters 
are firnil}^ and consistently developed; there 
are scenes of pathos and tragic vividness ; the 

190 A Colonial Officer 

plot advances with rapid movement and with 
culminating force." 

Doubtless, during the sessions of the Legis- 
lature "A Prince of Parthia" was put on the 
boards b}^ the amateurs of Wilmington and 
greeted with thunders of applause. There 
were, however, some professional actors of dis- 
tinction who played there in those days. In 
an interesting letter to the Bishop of London, 
dated June nth, 1768, Governor Tryon speaks 
of a talented 3'oung actor, named Giffard, who 
applied to him for recommendation to the 
Bishop "for ordination orders, he having been 
invited by some principal gentlemen of the 
Province to be inducted into a parish, and to 
set up a school for the education of 3'outh." 
Tryon said the young man had assured him 
that it was no sudden caprice that induced him 
to make the application, but that it was the 
result of very mature deliberation — "that he 
was most wearied of the vague life of his 
present profession, and full}^ persuaded he 
could employ his talents to more benefit to 
society by going into holy orders and super- 
intending the education of the youth in this 
Province." Tryon also expressed a doubt 
whether the Bishop would choose to take a 
member of the theatre into the church, but 

And His TimEvS. 191 

testified to the young man's excellent conduct, 
and concluded his letter with the following 
remark : " If your Lordship grants Mr. Giffard 
his petition, you will take off the best player 
on the American stage." Mr. Giffard took 
Tryon's letter to London, going by way of 
Providence, where he was under contract to 
play, but whether he succeeded in his wish to 
enter the ministry, or ever returned to North 
Carolina or not, we do not know. 

The country which these North Carolina 
Colonists inhabited was one of the most inviting 
regions for settlers in America. The climate 
was mild, the soil adapted to the production of 
every cereal and plant necessary or useful to 
man ; the forests vast, filled with game of every 
kind and fragrant with the odors of a thousand 
different kinds of herbs and flowers ; the rivers 
were numerous, some of them magnificent, and 
all teeming with fish and swarming with wild 
fowl. Thus all the conditions required for the 
most generous display of plantation hospitality 
were present, or attainable with the least effort, 
and the consequence was that a social life, in 
many respects the most charming and peculiar 
that has perhaps ever existed, was developed 
and continued to flourish until trampled out 
of existence by the iron heel of war. 

192 A Colonial Officer 

It was while enjoying the pleasures of this 
social life during an interval in his military 
service, and while attending the session of the 
Assembly at Wilmington, that General Wad- 
dell met the lady who became his wife. She 
was Mary Haynes, daughter of Captain 
Roger Haynes, and granddaughter of Rev. 
Richard Marsden, the first Rector of St. James's 
Parish, in W^ilmington. Of Captain Ha3mes 
very little is known beyond the fact that he 
was in the British service. He lived at Castle 
Haynes,'-' about nine miles North of Wilming- 
ton, on the Northeast branch of Cape Fear — 
which plantation adjoined the Hermitage 
where Mr. Marsden lived — and he had died 
previous to 1753. The marriage of General 
Waddell took place at Castle Haynes some- 
time in the year 1762. 

The only other daughter of Captain Haynes, 
Margaret, was married some years previously 
to John Burgwin, Escp, who was, for a time, 
the Treasurer of the Southern part of the 
Province. Not long after General Waddell's 
marriage he joined Mr. Burgwin in business 
in Wilmington, the firm being John Burgwin 
& Co., with branch establishments in various 

*This place is commonly called Castle Hayne, and the Rail- 
road vStation there is so labelled. 

And His Times. i93 

places in the back country. The business was 
managed by Mr. Burgwin, who was educated 
to mercantile life in England, General Wad- 
dell, when not engaged on frontier-duty or in 
the Legislature, passing most of his time 
in visiting and superintending his different 
estates, of which there were four or five. His 
principal residence was at Bellefont, in Bladen 
County, generally called ''the Waddell place," 
which is situate about two miles below Eliza- 
bethtown, and is interesting as containing the 
o-rave of the distinguished Lieutenant Colonel 
Webster, Lord Cornwallis's favorite officer, 
who was mortally wounded at Guilford Court 
House in 1781.-== There he lived for some 
years dispensing a most generous hospitality 
and enjoying the unbounded respect and con- 
fidence of the people. 

As he had previously, in 1757 and 1760, 
been a magistrate and member of Assembly 
from Rowan County, so in 1762 he was ap- 
pointed a Justice of the Peace, and elected to 
the Assembly from Bladen. He was also one 

*In 1810, when a party of jjentleinen, including Judge 
Toomer and Hon. Alfred Moore, went to Bellefont to remove 
the remains of Judge Alfred Moore, they inquired for the spot 
where Webster was buried. An aged slave named Lisburn, 
who had belonged to General Waddell, and was named after 
his birth-place in Ireland, pointed it out to them, he having 

194 A Colonial Officp:r 

of the Justices who presided over the Inferior 
Court of New Hanover County in 1764, and 
in that year the County of Brunswick was 
established out of the territory of New Han- 
over and Bladen, which explains his being in 
command of the Brunswick militia in the 
ensuing year when the Stamp Act troubles 
occurred. The record does not show his 
presence in the Court more than once or twice, 
nor does it show that the sessions of that Court, 
which met every three months, were inter- 
rupted by the Stamp Act excitement; but on 
the record of the Superior Court for April, 
1766, there is the following entrj- : 

The actions for trial at April Term, 1766, 
were all continued over for October Term on 
acc't of the Stamp Act. 

In 176S he went on a visit to England and 
Ireland, and while there sat for his portrait to 
a distinguished artist, who made a beautiful 
miniature likeness of him on ivory. From 
this miniature, which is the only picture ever 
taken of him, the engraving in the front of this 

witnessed Webster's funeral. The grave was opened, and, 
upon removing the decayed lid of the coffin, there lay the 
British hero, perfect for an instant in sight of all, but in a 
moment there was only a handful of brown dust. — Stalcmctit 
of Hon. J)w. D. Toomer and Hon. A. Moore. 

And His Times. 195 

volume is taken. It is believed to be the work 
of Gainesborough. 

Until the passage of the Stamp Act, as has 
already appeared, General Waddell had been 
a staunch and steady friend of the government, 
and one of its well-tried and most faithful ser- 
vants, notwithstanding the annoying and irri- 
tating acts of the unfortunate and unhappy 
Governor Dobbs, but after that event there was 
an evident lack of zeal in his loyalty, although 
there was, as yet, no talk of independence any- 
where in America. He was again a member 
of the Assembl}' in 1765, when Governor 
Try on prorogued the body to prevent them 
from sending delegates to the Stamp Act Con- 
gress, but although prevented from acting in 
his legislative capacity on the subject, he was, 
as heretofore described, one of the most active 
leaders of the popular movement against it, 
both in the meetings which passed resolutions 
in Wilmington and the armed resistance at 
Brunswick. He was again a member in 1766 
and in 1771, after the Regulators' war w^as 
over. He owned lands in Rowan, Anson, 
Bladen and New Hanover, but Bladen was the 
only County in which he permanentl}' resided. 

It seemed to have been no unusual thing in 
those days for a man to live in one county and 

196 A Colonial Officer 

serve as a representative from another, just as 
it is possible, though not usual now, for a mem- 
ber of Congress to live in one district and be 
elected from another in the same State. 

No record of any of the debates in the Colo- 
nial Assembh' was kept, and onl}- the necessary 
minutes of the sessions were preserved. 

From these General Waddell appears to have 
been recognized as a prominent member, as 
he was nearly always, put upon important 
committees; but the probability is, that he was 
rather a "business" member than a speaker. 

It w^as the general supposition that he was a 
member of the Council either durinor Dobbs's 
or Trj'on's administration, or both; but the 
records only show that he was recommended 
to the Crown by Dobbs in 1762, and Tryon in 
1 77 1, for that position. 

In his letter to Lord Hillsborough, dated 
Newbern, aSthJanuary, 1771, Tryon, after nom- 
inating Colonel Hugh Waddell, Mr. Marma- 
duke Jones, and Sir Nathaniel Dukenfield, 
uses the following language: 

Colonel Waddell had the honor to see your 
Lordship about two years since in England. 
He honorably distinguished himself last war 
while he commanded the Provincials of this 
province against the Cherokee Indians, pos- 
sesses an easy fortune, and is in much esteem 

And His TimEvS. 197 

as a gentleman of honor and spirit. He has, 
I confess, endeared himself to my friendship 
b}' the generons offer he made me bnt last week 
of his volnntary services against the insurgents 
of this province. 

He does not seem to have received the ap- 
pointment. The Council were appointed by 
the Crown upon the recommendation of the 
Governor, and the members of Assembly were 
elected by the people. The fact that even 
while on military dut}' he was often chosen by 
them as a representative, and was kept, almost 
up to the day of his death, alternating between 
service on the frontier and in the Assembly, is 
the strongest evidence that he held a high 
place in their esteem and confidence. Indeed, 
he was both a trusted officer of the govern- 
ment, and a universally recognized leader of 
the people almost from the beginning of his 
career to its close — an exceptional distinction 
which justifies the eulogiums which have been 
pronounced upon him in the pages of every 
North Carolina writer who has discussed the 
period in which he lived, although very few of 
the details of his public service or private life 
have been preserved. 

In the Fall of 1772 he was contemplating 
another visit to England, and, according to a 
family tradition, had gone to Fort Johnston, 

198 A Colonial Officer 

at the mouth of the Cape Fear, to take ship 
for the voyage, when he was seized with the 
illness that resulted in his death. The same 
tradition says this illness was caused by sleep- 
ing in damp sheets. Whatever the cause the 
sickness was of long duration, for in his will, 
which was made on the loth day of November, 
1772, he says: "I, Hugh Waddell, of the 
County of Bladen, and Province of North Caro- 
lina, being sick and weak," &c., and he did 
not die until the 9th da}^ of April following, 
nearly five months afterward. 

He was, at the time of his death, in the 
39th year of his age, and, therefore, the refer- 
ences to him in the various histories of the 
State as "the old General," "the brave old 
veteran," and the like, furnish a good illus- 
tration of the natural but sometimes amusingly 
incorrect habit of designating persons of a long- 
past generation as "old," although it is readily 
accounted for in his case, by the fact that he 
had been longer in the military service, and 
was better known as a soldier than any person 
in the Province previous to the Revolution. 

He was buried at Castle Haynes, which 
estate came to him through his wife, and she 
was buried there three or four years afterwards. 

In his will, which disposed of a large estate 
{n lands in Rowan, Bladen and New Hanover 

And His TimEvS. 199 

Counties, and in slaves, town lots, " goods 
and profits in trade," plate, &c., &c., there is 
no mention made of any relative besides his 
wife and children, except his "sister Han- 
nah, of the Count}' of Down in the North of 
Ireland," to whom he bequeathed one hundred 
guineas. He had other relatives, more or less 
near, residing in Ireland, however, and their 
descendants now reside in and about Lisburn, 
from which place he came. 

"The blind preacher" of Virginia, to whom 
reference has alread}- been made as having 
come from the same part of Ireland about the 
same time, was near the same age as the Gen- 
eral, and the two well illustrated, though in 
different spheres, the race to which the}- be- 
longed, which for piety and pugnacity is facile 
princeps among the nations of the earth. Each 
was an agent of civilization, and both died with 
the consciousness of duty faithfully done, 
leaving to their posterity an honorable name 
and fame. 

General Waddell, by his marriage, had three 
sons, Haynes, Hugh and John. They were 
sent to England to be educated after his death, 
and the oldest, Hajaies, having contracted an 
illness from hunting in the Fens of Lincoln- 
shire, died on his return voyage to America in 
1784, and was buried at sea. He was not of 

200 A Colonial Officer 

age, as appears b}- a recital in a deed from his 

The two surviving sons, Hugh and John, 
divided one of the largest estates on the Cape 
Fear, and each by his subsequent marriage 
received a large addition to his propert3^ 
Hugh married, first. Miss Heron, by whom he 
had one daughter, Mrs. John Swann, and next 
the daughter of Judge Alfred Moore, b}- whom 
he had a large famil}^ John married the only 
daughter, and only child, of General Francis 
Nash, who was killed at the battle of German- 
town in 1777. They both became planters on 
the Cape Fear and continued so all their lives. 
Hugh died at Bellefont in 1827, and John at 
Pittsboro in 1830. They took no part in pub- 
lic affairs, but commanded the respect and good 
will of all who knew them by practicing the 
sweet charities of life. The former was uni- 
versally recognized as the Uncle Toby of his 
generation, and the latter as a model country 

More than a year and a half had elapsed 
after the Regulators' war before General Wad- 
dell was attacked by the disease which finally 
killed him, and during that period the idea of 
separation from Great Britain took root in the 
Colonies and began to grow with great rapidity 

And His Times. 201 

throughout the whole of America. When 
Josiah Quincey, of Boston, visited the Cape 
Fear country in the Spring of 1773, and en- 
joyed so much the hospitality extended to him 
by the ''best company," as related in his 
Memoirs, and while "the plan of Continental 
correspondence, highl}^ relished, much wished 
for, and resolved upon as proper to be pursued " 
by his hosts, was being hatched. General Wad- 
dell was on his death-bed ; otherwise he would 
have been very sure, like his intimate friends 
who were present, to have taken a part in those 

That he would, if he had lived, have been 
an active and prominent leader in the Revo- 
lution — certainly the most prominent North 
Carolina soldier — admits of no doubt. All his. 
friends and associates on the Cape Fear, as 
well as his comrades before and at the time of 
the Regulators' outbreak, were among the first 
to take up arms ; and, being like-minded with 
them in regard to the rights of the Colonics, 
his military experience and soldierly qualities 
would have marked him at once as the most 
fitting person in North Carolina for military 
command, while his acquaintance and former 
service with General Washington would have 
secured the confidence of the Commander-in- 

202 A Colonial Officer 

Chief from the outset. The State suffered a 
great loss in his premature death at that criti- 
cal period. 

In reviewing his life and reflecting upon the 
events amidst which it was passed, one must 
be impressed with a sense of the services ren- 
dered to their countr}^ and to posterit}^ by the 
men who then inhabited the Colonies. It is 
hardly possible for us of the present generation 
to fully appreciate the nature and importance 
of those services. How difficult, for instance, 
would it be in these daj'S of telegraphs, rail- 
roads, breech-loading arms, pontoon trains, 
and the like, to appreciate thoroughly the 
trials and dangers accompanying the expedi- 
tion from middle North Carolina through that 
terrible mountain wilderness to Tennessee, or 
that one to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania (Fort Du 
Quesne), on foot, without quartermaster or 
commissary stores, artillery or camp equipage, 
and armed with flint-lock muskets, which a 
heavy rain might render useless; and this, too, 
through a hostile region swarming with merci- 
less savages, from whom at every mountain 
pass or covert, at every hour, day or night, an 
attack might be expected ! The North Caro- 
lina trcops at Fort Loudon and Fort Du Quesne 

And His Times. 203 

were actually farther from home than the}'- 
would be to-day if in Mexico or Europe. 

And if we turn from the physical trials by 
which they were beset, to the moral problems 
which confronted them, our respect and admi- 
ration for them is only increased. The diffi- 
culties constantly arising in the administration 
of their local affairs, the perpetual conflicts 
with exacting and tyrannical Roj-al Govern- 
ors, and the increasing encroachments by the 
Crown and Parliament of Great Britain upon 
their inherited and chartered rights as British 
subjects, which finally drove them into armed 
rebellion, were all met and overcome with the 
same heroic spirit. 

It is an old story, and one that has often 
burned on eloquent lips and been pictured by 
the brush of the literary artist, but for the 
patriot and student of history it can never 
cease to have a profound interest, for it repro- 
duces for his contemplation an era full of 
valuable lessons. 

204 A Colonial Officer 


A Historical Sketch of the Former Town of Brunswick, on the 
Cape Fear River. 


N Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, the 
following passage occurs : 

There had been, some months before, a design 
of Prince Rupert upon the cit\^ of Bristol, by 
correspondence with some of the chief inhabi- 
tants of the city, who were weary of the tyranny 
of Parliament ; but it had been so uu skilfully 
or unhappily carried that when the Prince was 
near the town, with such a party of horse and 
foot as he made choice of, it was discovered, 
and many principal citizens apprehended by 
Nathaniel Fiennes, son of the Lord Sa}', and 
then Governor of that city for the Parliament. 
At this time special direction and order was 
sent thither "that he should, with all severity 
and expedition, proceed against those conspira- 
tors (as they called them); and, thereupon, 
by a sentence and judgment of a council 
of war, Alderman Yeoman s, who had been 
High Sheriff of the city, and of great reputa- 
tion in it, and George Bouchier, another citizen 
of principal account, were (against all interposi 
tion his Majesty could make) both hanged '"' 


*VoL I, page 3S9, Oxford Edition, 1843. 

And HIvS TimEvS. 205 

The time at which this event occurred was 
in the year 1643, ^^^*^ this was the fate of the 
loyalist leader Yeomans. 

Two 3'ears previous thereto the quickl3^-sup- 
pressed, but bloody Irish rebellion had broken 
out, and Hume, in his history, thus speaks of 
one of the instigators of that enterprise: 

x\ gentleman, called Roger Moore, much 
celebrated among his countrymen for valor 
and capacity, formed the project of expelling 
the English, and engaged all the heads of the 
native Irish in the conspirac}?-, especially Sir 
Phelim O'Neale, the representative of the 
Tyrone famil}^ and Lord Maguire. 

Unable to control the fur}^ of the Irish, who 
began a general massacre, and horrified by 
their atrocities, Moore fled from the country 
and went to Flanders. 

Upon the restoration of Charles II, in recog- 
nition of his father's services, the oldest son of 
Robert Yeomans (or Yeamans, as he spelled 
it), who had gone to seek his fortune in Bar- 
badoes, was knighted by the King and became 
Sir John Yeamans. He, with other gentlemen 
there, sent, in 1663, "^^ expedition under Hilton 
to explore the Cape Fear River, on which a 
Massachusetts colou}^ had made (but soon 
abandoned) a settlement in 1660. Upon the 

2o6 A Colonial Officer 

return of the expedition with a glowing ac- 
count of the country, Sir John Yeamans 
brought over a colou}^, and in 1665 settled it 
upon the site of the former one at the mouth 
of Town Creek, eight miles below Wilming- 
ton, on the west bank of the river. He received 
from the Lords Proprietors a grant for thirt}^- 
two miles square, and was made the Governor 
of the colony. He remained there six years, 
and, in 1671, was made Governor of "Carteret 
County," as South Carolina was then called, 
to which place he went, taking his colony with 
him, and soon after founded Charleston, which 
was the name of the settlement he had left on 
Town Creek. 

While residing there, James Moore, the 
grandson of the rebel Roger Moore, who had also 
come to America to seek his fortune, married 
the daughter of Yeamans, thus uniting the 
blood of the English loyalist and Irish rebel, 
and afterwards was also Governor of South 

The younger son of Governor James Moore, 
Maurice Moore, having come with his brother, 
Colonel James Moore, to suppress the Indian 
outbreaks in North Carolina in 1 7 1 1 , con- 
cluded that he would re-settle the Cape Fear, 
which had remained unoccupied ever since his 

And HIvS TimKvS. 207 

grandfather's colon}' left it, and accordingly 
he returned there about 1723, and in 1725 laid 
out the town of Brunswick, about eight miles 
below the site of the original settlement, and 
sixteen miles below Wilmington. Two of his 
brothers, Roger and Nathaniel, came with him, 
as did many others. 

How it was laid out is told in an Act of the 
Assembly of North Carolina, passed at the 
session which began on the 20th April, 1745 
(old style). The Act was entitled "An Act 
to encourage persons to settle in the town of 
Brunswick, on the Southwest side of Cape Fear 
River," and the preamble sets forth the fact 
that Maurice Moore, Esq., then deceased, had 
given 320 acres of land on the Southwest side 
of Cape Fear for a town called Brunswick (in 
1725), and that "the Hon. Roger Moore, 
Esq.," in order to make the town more regu- 
lar, had added another parcel of land to it ; 
that a great part of said lands was laid out in 
lots of a half acre each, many of which were 
taken up and good houses built thereon; and 
proper places were appointed by Maurice Moore 
for a church, court-house, burying-place, market 
house, and other public buildings; that con- 
fusion had arisen about some of the titles to 
the unsold part, which it was desirable to 

:2o8 A Colonial Officer 

settle, etc. "And whereas, the trade of Cape 
Fear River consists in naval stores, rice and 
lumber, commodities of great bulk and small 
value, all due encouragement ought to be 
given to large ships to come into the said river 
to take off the said commodities; and as all 
large ships which come into the said river are 
obliged to lie at Brunswick, and that town, for 
the want of a sufficient number of inhabitants, 
and by reason of the easy navigation thereto, 
is much exposed to the invasion of foreign 
enemies in time of war, and pirates in time of 
peace, therefore we pra}^ your most sacred 
Majesty that it may be enacted," &c. 

The last lines of the above preamble set 
forth facts, the truth of which was amply jus- 
tified b}' the depth of water marked on Wim- 
ble's map of the mouth of the Cape Fear, made 
in 1738, and b}^ the raids of the two pirates, 
Richard Worley and Steed Bonnet, who were 
captured and hanged by Governor Johnson and 
William Rhett, in the year i^i'jf and these 
facts were further justified by the attack of 

*The Boston News-Letter of July i6tli, 1724, says that his 
Majesty's ship "Station," captured and carried into Charles- 
ton 130 pirates, from \vhoni the}- took ^5,000 as the share of 
■each of the captors. 

And HivS Times. 209 

a Spanish squadron on the. town three years 
after the passage of the Act. 

The town was twenty years old when the 
Act was passed. It never contained more than 
four hundred white inhabitants, but there were 
among these many of the wealthiest, most 
refined and cultivated people in the Province — 
the equals in every respect of the best people 
on the continent — and the reputation of the 
town for intelligence, public spirit and un- 
bounded hospitality soon became wide- spread. 
The fact that, for reasons which will presently 
be given, the population of Brunswick was 
eventually absorbed by the younger town of 
Wilmington (both towns being in New Han- 
over County until 1764, when Brunswick 
County was established), will explain the con- 
fusion that has appeared sometimes in North 
Carolina histories in the assignment of a resi- 
dence to certain distinguished men in both 
towns, or only in Wilmington. 

At March Term, 1727, of the General Court, 
held at Edenton, the following entry was made : 

It being represented to this Court that it is 
highly necessary that a Ferry should be settled 
over tape Fear River, and that part of the 
Province not being laid out into precincts, 
therefore it is bv this Court ordered, that the 

2IO A Colonial Officer 

Ferr}^ be kept for that river b}^ Cornelius 
Harnett, from the place designed for a town 
on the West side of the river to a place called 
the Haule-over. And that he receive the sum 
of five shillings for a man and horse, and half 
a crown for each person, and that no person to 
keep any Ferry within ten miles of the said 

This ferry was reached from the North by 
the road which passed over the little bridge 
on Smith's Creek, and thence due South along 
what is now MacRae Street in Wilmington to 
the Haul-over nearl}^ opposite Brunswick. 

This road to Brunswick, through Wilming- 
ton, was at that time the only route from the 
Northern part of the Province to South Caro- 
lina. The only two ferries on the lower Cape 
Fear were this at Brunswick, and one where 
Wilmington now is; and this latter was not 
directly across the river, but from about the 
foot of the present Dock street, past Point Peter, 
and four miles up the Northwest branch to 
MacLaine's Bluff, where the Navassa Factory 
now stands. The causeway across Eagles's 
Island was begun by Colonel Wm. Dry in 
December, 1764, and finished by Governor 
Benjamin Smith in 1791, under Acts of As- 

The Cornelius Harnett named in the x\ct of 

And HIvS Times. 211 

1727, was the father of the distinguished man 
of that name, and was either already a resi- 
dent of Brunswick, or moved there soon after. 
It was said that he kept the inn there, and 
certain deeds corroborate the statement. His 
son was four years old when this order of the 
General Court establishing the ferry was made, 
and he passed his youth and early manhood in 
Brunswick, and very probably was one of those 
who helped to drive off the Spaniards and blow 
up one of their ships in 1748, as he was then 
twenty-five years old. His name is a house- 
hold word on the Cape Fear, and his career is 
a part of the history of the Revolutionary 
period. He is regarded, however, as a Wil- 
mington man, because he began to attain dis- 
tinction after removing there, lived the greater 
part of his life there, and died there. 

Indeed, that may be said of the majorit}^ of 
the great men of the lower Cape Fear during 
the Revolution, as at that time it was the only 
town in that section of the State ; but most of 
them had previously lived in Brunswick, or 
its vicinity. Hooper, the signer of the Decla- 
ration of Independence, had not, as he did not 
come to North Carolina from Massachusetts 
until 1764; but MacLaine and McGuire, each 
of whom became Attornc}^ General, and a 

212 A Colonial Officer 

number of other distinguished men, moved to 
Wilmington after Brunswick began to decay. 
McGuire was a loyalist when the Revolution 
broke out, and went to England, but the others 
w^ere all patriots, and some of them became 
leaders in that struggle. General Robert 
Howe, one of the most illustrious of these 
leaders, always lived in or near Brunswick ; 
and so did General James Moore, who com- 
manded the whole Southern Department, and 
his brother, Judge Maurice Moore, and the 
latter's son. Judge Alfred Moore, afterwards a 
Judge of the United States Supreme Court, 
and some of the distinguished members of the 
Ashe family, and Governor Benj. Smith and 
Colonel Wm. Dr^^, and many others of note. 

When the character and fame of these men 
are considered, and the size of the town is 
remembered, it ma}^ be confidently asserted 
that no community, so small, on the continent, 
ever contained at the same time so man}' men 
who afterwards became so distinguished as 
soldiers and jurists and statesmen. 

And yet, alas! except in the faintest and 
most confused way, not only the deeds, but 
the very names of these heroes and patriots 
have well-nigh ceased to be remembered, and 
the place of their abode — once the busy mart, 

And HivS Times. 213 

the seat of refined culture and generous hos- 
pitality — has long been the home of the fox 
and the owl. A few grave-stones and the four 
walls of the old church of St. Philip, sur- 
rounded by a tangled thicket, are the only 
remaining evidences of the existence of the 
ancient borough. 

The old church was built of brick imported 
from England, and the walls are nearly three 
feet thick. They are solid still, though scarred 
and pitted by shot fired in two wars, and will 
apparently stand for another century. The 
dense thicket of trees and shrubbery not only 
incloses the burying-ground and church, but 
has taken possession of the interior of the 
church, and trees, several inches in diameter, 
have sprung out of the tops of the walls. It 
must have been quite an imposing structure, 
with its high pitch and three lofty arched 
doors, and the chancel windows were quite 
grand. Its dimensions were as follows : length, 
76.6; width, 54.3; height of walls now stand- 
ing, 24.4; number of windows 11, measuring 
15x7 feet; doors, 3; thickness of walls, 2.9. 

During the late war between the States, a 
heavy earthwork, called Fort Anderson, was 
constructed between the church and the river, 
and on the spot where nearly one hundred 

214 A Colonial Officer 

years before the defiant patriots stood resisting 
the landing of the stamps. 

In digging away the earth for the construc- 
tion of this work, the laborers found some old 
coin and other relics. When the fort, after 
a severe bombardment by the United States 
fleet, was abandoned, before the fall of Wil- 
mington in 1865, the Northern soldiers occu- 
pied it, and the corner-stone of the venerable 
sanctuary, which had been respected for more 
than a century, was dug out, and some of the 
tombs were broken into, probably in a fruitless 
search for treasure. If the soldier who removed 
one particular grave-stone could read Latin, 
and was not utterly insensible, he must have 
felt a little uncomfortable, especially if he 
observed that the occupant of that tomb was a 
3^outhful bride of seventeen, for on the slab 
was carved the old curse, 

" Quisquis hoc maniior susiiilerit 
iUiimus siiorimi moriatury 

ly its earliest days, the Legislature used 
sometimes to meet in Brunswick, and Governor 
Gabriel Johnstone, of pleasant memory, upon 
his arrival in October, 1734, took the oaths of 
office there. 

In 1748 the town was attacked by a squad- 

And His Times. 215 

ron of Spanish privateers, who had entered the 
river and were plundering the country ; but 
the pluck}^ inhabitants rallied to the defence 
of their property and whipped off the invaders, 
after blowing up one of their ships and cap- 
turing some valuable propert}'. This attack 
occurred on the Sth November, 1748 — at least 
the vessel was blown up on that day — and 
among the articles captured was a painting, 
an '" Eccc Homo,'"' which had probably been 
stolen from some church or private residence 
somewhere on the coast. The captured prop- 
ert}^ was appropriated, b\' an Act of the Legis- 
lature, to the church of St. Philip at Brunswick, 
and the church of St. James at Wilmington, 
and the ^'' Ecce Ho^no^'' is still preserved in the 
vestry-room of St. James. It is not a fine work 
of art, but is an interesting memento of the 
gallant exploit of the men of Brunswick. The 
pirates continued their work up to a much 
later date.'-' 

*There are several privateers on our coast from the West 
Indies ; they have taken an English ship coming to Cape Fear 
with dry goods, and another small vessel, and have turned the 
sailors ashore, and we have no sloop to cruise upon the coast. 
The Baltimore, Captain Hood, which should be stationed at 
Cape Fear, was called off in Spring to Nova Scotia, and hith- 
erto when they return in Winter, they look into Cape Fear 
and stay some days, but finding no balls or entertainments 

2i6 A Colonial Officer 

It was at Brunswick that George III was 
proclaimed King in the presence of the Gov- 
ernor (Dobbs), the members of the Council, 
and a number of the principal inhabitants and 
planters. An account of the ceremon}^ was 
given by Governor Dobbs in a letter to the 
Secretary of the Board of Trade, under date of 
February 9th, 1761,'-' as follows: 

I sent for such of the Council as were in 
this neighborhood, and next day, Frida}-, had 
his Majesty proclaimed here by all the gentle- 
men near this place, the militia drawn out and 
a triple discharge from Fort Johnston of twen- 
t3'-one guns, and from all the ships in the 
river; and at the same time sent out an express 
for the other Councillors in this neighborhood 
to meet me at Wilmington next day, Saturday 
the 7th, where his Majesty was again pro- 
claimed by the corporation and gentlemen of 
the neighborhood, under a triple salute of 
twenty-one guns, where M^e had an entertain- 
ment prepared; the militia were drawn out, 
and the evening concluded by bonfires, illumi- 
nations, and a ball and supper with all una- 
nimity and demonstrations of joy. 

there, they sail away and spend the Winter in Charles Town, 
under pretence that they can't clean in at Cape Fear, although 
they may have all conveniences for it. — Dobbs to Board of 
Trade, October 2,1st, 1756. 

*Colonial Records, Vol. VI, 520. 

And His Times. 217 

He also said that he had sent the procLaiiui- 
tion by express to Newbern to be published 
and forwarded to every eounty and borough in 
the Provinee. 

Under date of April i6th, 1761, the Rev. 
John McDowell, Rector of the Parish of St. 
Philip — in a long complaining letter to the 
Secretary of the Society for the Propagation of 
the Gospel, in which he is severe on his Ves- 
try — writes: "The roof of the new church at 
Brunswick is fallen down again: it was struck 
with lightning last July, and afterwards a 
prodigious and immoderate quantity of rain 
fallino- on it made it all tumble do\vn, and there 
it lies just as it fell; the chapel is a most 
miserable old house, only twenty-four feet by 
fifteen, and every shower of rain or blast of 
wind blow^s quite through it." The reverend 
gentleman seemed to be about to quit his 
charge because of difficulties with his Vestry, 
who, he said, strove to keep their minister "in 
the greatest state of subjection and depend- 
ence," and wouldn't pay him a sufficient salary, 
and were, some of them, sadly lacking in piety. 
He modestly says, " But they will repent their 
obliging me to leave them, for I have done and 
would have done more for them than any they 
have ever had, or, I dare say, ever will have.'^ 

2i8 A Colonial Officer 

It would be unfair to the Vestrj^, however, not 
to publish their side of the case, which is con- 
tained in the following suggestive letter, dated 
Brunswick, 24th March, 1761, and addressed 
to the Rector: 

The Vestry have taken into consideration 
the difficulties you allege in officiating at the 
Blue Banks during the two hot and two cold 
months, and are content that you be permitted 
to exchange the Sundays in July and August, 
allotted for that Chapel, with Brunswick for 
other Sunda3'S in a more moderate season, 3'ou 
ofivincr due notice of such exchanore; and as to 
cold months, we know of none in this countr}' 
to prevent one of your health}^ constitution 
from riding twenty-four miles: indeed, a da}' 
of bad weather may happen now and then, for 
which accident all reasonable allowance will 
be made, as heretofore has been made. As to 
the addition of salary which you insist on, we 
cannot but observe that when you agreed to 
serve the cure of this Parish on the 5th June, 
1758, you thankfully accepted of ^100 a year, 
when your family was larger than it is now, 
and you willingly undertook harder dut}^ than 
is now proposed to you. 

But now. Sir, his Excellency the Governor 
and Vestry, having bj^ their joint recommen- 
dation of 3^ou, procured ;^50 sterling a 3'ear, 
the generous bount}^ of the Society for the 
Propagating the Gospel, you disdain to accept 
from our Parish ^120 Proclamation mone\' a 

And His Times. 219 

year; you discover difficulties in the exercise 
of your function which never before occurred, 
and 3'ou are pleased to insist on such a salar}^ 
as the}' never have given, and such as niau}^ 
of this Parish, in the present distressed state 
of their trade and circumstances, cannot easily 
give \'ou. 

If 3^ou are pleased to continue on the terms 
we have now proposed, we shall be glad to 
contribute all in our power to make ever}^ part 
of 3'our duty agreeable to you. We are, Rev. 
Sir, 3'Our most humble servants. 

It was several years before the church was 
finished and dedicated, it seems, for the Rev. 
John Barnett, writing to the Secretary of the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, from 
Brunswick on the nth June, 1768, says that 
though he had apprehended great delay in the 
finishing the new church, it was then " so 
nearl}' completed as with great decenc}- to 
admit of the performance of Divine worship in 
it," and proceeds to inform them that, with 
the assistance of the Rev. Mr. Wills, of Wil- 
mington, he had dedicated St. Philip's church 
on Whit Tuesda3^ " Being wholl}- unac- 
quainted," he sa3^s, "with a proper form or 
mode of dedication, I wrote to several clergy- 
men for their advice, but not one could give 
the least information. I then drew up a form, 

2 20 A Colonial Officer 

which was approved by his Excellency and 
the Council, and, indeed, gave an universal 
satisfaction." He also said that the people of 
the parish so violently opposed the presenta- 
tion of the Crown to the Living that he thought 
he would have to leave. 

On the 2oth September, 1761, according to 
the Lojidoji Magazine for December of that 
year, a fearful hurricane swept the coast, last- 
ing from ]\Ionday the 20th to Friday the 24th, 
but raging with most violence on Thursday 
the 23d. "Many houses," sa3's the account, 
"were thrown down, and all the vessels, except 
one, in Cape Fear river driven on shore. It 
forced open a new^ channel for that river at a 
place called the Haul-over, between the Cedar 
House and the Bald Head.==' This new chan- 
nel w^as found on soundings to be eighteen 
feet deep at high water, and is near half a mile 

The breach thus made across the sand-strip 
between the ocean and the river, was after- 
wards known as New Inlet, and was — until 
recently closed by the United States Govern- 
ment — as often used by vessels bound to and 

*Gov. Dobbs says this happened on the 22d. Col. Rec, Vol. 
VI, 605. 

And His TimEvS. 221 

from ^\^ihlli^g■to^ as the main entrance at the 
mouth of the river, and was defended during 
the late war b\' Fort Fisher. It is about four 
miles below Brunswick, on the opposite side 
of the river, which is about two miles wide 
along that part of its course. There seem to 
have been two places called the Haul-over, one 
opposite Brunswick where Harnett's Ferry 
was, and that where New Inlet broke through. 
Harnett's Ferry was certainly not between 
Brunswick and the lower one. If there were 
not two, as one tradition saj^s, then the Lou- 
don Magazine was in error in calling the place 
where New Inlet was the Haul-over. 

In a letter to the Lords of the Board of 
Trade, written in 1761, Governor Dobbs, an- 
swering a question as to the trade of the Prov- 
ince, says: "No foreign trade whatever is 
carried on between this colou}^ and any foreign 
plantation, except with Eustatia and St. Croix, 
and with no foreign countries in Europe except 
with the Madeiras and Azores, and with the 
Canaries for wine^ salt from Portugal not being 
allowed to be imported. These are brought 
by ships from Britain ; nor have we any trade 
with Ireland upon account that naval stores, 
and other enumerated commodities are pro- 
hibited, which is a great help to Britain and 

22 2 A Colonial Officer 

this colon3^ The natural produce and staple 
commodities of this Province (for of manufac- 
tures there are none) consist of naval stores, 
masts, yards, plank and ship timber, Indian 
corn, pease, rice, and of late flour, hemp, flax 
and flax seed, tobacco, bees and nij^tle wax, 
and some indigo." He gives the number of 
ships annually coming to the port of Bruns- 
wick at ninet}", with a tonnage of four thou- 
sand eight hundred and thirty, most of them 
being small, and saA^s that at that time 
(1761) there were only about fifty ships 
owned in the colony. His description of 
the navigation of the Cape Fear shows that 
the depth of water was greater than it ever 
was afterwards, until the closing of New Inlet 
recently, that Inlet not having broken through, 
as already said, until 2 2d September, 1761. 
Upon this subject he sa3^s: "But the chief 
river for navigation and trade is Cape Fear 
river, there being eighteen feet water upon the 
bar, navigable for large ships above Brunswick 
fifteen miles up the river and as high as Wil- 
mington, after passing the flats upon which 
there is about eleven or twelve feet water 
(since a new entrance has been opened by a 
hurricane on the 2 2d September last at a place 
called the Haul-over, eight or ten miles above 

And Hks Timks. 223 

the former entrance), and is navigable for 
small vessels for above one hnndred miles 
farther up on the Northwest branch, and above 
sixty miles hio-h?r on the Northeast branch, 
in which a rapid tide flows for near one hnn- 
dred miles, this being the only inlet for all the 
Southern and Western parts of this Province." 

Governor Dobbs lived in Brnnswick, and 
had a plantation on Town Creek, a few miles 
above the town, where he was buried. Gov- 
ernor Trj'on also lived there, and owned two 
houses in the town, one of which was ap- 
proached by a fine cedar avenue, and was 
called Russellboro : it was bought by him from 
Governor Dobbs's son, and was the residence 
formerU' occupied by Dobbs. It contained 
fifty-five acres, and was adjoining the town on 
the North side. 

The town was again visited by. a hurri- 
cane on the 7th September, 1769, which 
nearly destroyed it, and which did, on the 
9th, destroy Newbern, where six persons 
were drowned. In truth, the whole existence 
of the old town was marked by storms, natural 
and political ; and nearly a centur}^ after it 
had ceased to exist, and when the silence and 
solitude which had so long enveloped it was 
broken for the first time, it was by the engi- 

■224 A Colonial Officer 

neer's pick and spade in the constrnction of a 
military work for use in a civil war. 

Immediately North of Brunswick, and ad- 
joining the tract on which the town was laid 
out, is the celebrated Orton plantation, which 
is at the Southern terminus of the rice lands 
of the Cape Fear river. It has always been 
regarded as one of the most valuable planta- 
tions in that part of the State, and is a historic 
place. Like most of the valuable lands on or 
near the Cape Fear, it was originally granted 
(i725)to Colonel Maurice Moore, and was first 
settled by his brother Roger, commonl}^ called 
^'King Roger," who owned immense tracts in 
that part of the country. The latter was also 
a much-married man. One of his wives was 
Catharine Rhett, and his daughter by her was 
the mother of Governor Benjamin Smith. 

Governor Smith afterwards owned Orton, 
and his brother James owned the adjoining 
plantation, "Kendall," which had also be- 
longed to King Roger. James Smith was the 
father of the late Hon. R. Barnwell Rhett and 
liis brothers, who took the name of Rhett and 
moved to South Carolina. The plantation 
next to Kendall was "Lilliput," which was 
first granted (1725) to Hon. Eleazar Allen, 
Chief Justice of North Carolina, who died in 
1738, and whose tombstone, and that of his 

And His Tr:\rRS. 225 

wife, is still in a good state of preservation. 
Governor Tryon also owned Lillipnt in 1768. 
King Roger and his family are bnried at Orion 
plantation beneath a brick monnd. This 
sobriqnet of "King" was given him becanse 
of the state in which he lived, and of the man- 
ner in which he had controlled the Indians, 
whom he defeated in a fight at the "Sugar 
Loaf," a place on the East side of the river 
nearh' opposite to Orton. One tradition about 
him is that he was a might}' hunter, and that 
not long before his death, having asked his 
eldest son what part of his lands he would 
prefer to have, the son replied that as he be- 
lieved there were "more deer" in a certain 
region (mentioning it), he would prefer that. 
Orton has, from its original settlement to 
this day, been celebrated as the best hunting 
and fishing ground in all the lower Cape Fear 
countr}', and among the animals once hunted 
there, but which have since disappeared, 
was the panther, a specimen of which Gov- 
ernor Tryon sent from Brunswick on the 
28th March, 1767, accompanied b}^ the follow- 
ing letter, to the Earl of Sherburne : 

As the panther of this continent, I am told, 
has never been imported into Europe, and as 

2 26 A Colonial Officer 

it is the king of the American forests, I pre- 
sume to send a male panther under your 
Lordship's patronage, to be presented for his 
Majesty's acceptance. He is six months old; 
I have had him four months; b}- constantly 
handling he is become perfectly tame and 
familiar. When full grown his coat will much 
resemble that of the lioness. Panthers have 
been killed (for it is very uncommon to catch 
them alive) ten feet in length from the nose to 
the end of the tail. I am ver\^ solicitous for 
his safe arrival, as I am ambitious that he may 
be permitted to add to his Majesty's collection 
of wild beasts. 

The Orton tract embraces several thousand 
acres of pine lands in rear of the rice plantation, 
which is a great deer walk, and includes 
a very large pond of several miles in length, 
which is filled with choice fish — chiefl}- black 
bass and the finest varieties of perch. Part of 
the hunting ground and part of the pond are 
really attached to the Kendall tract, but they 
are generally spoken of as belonging to Orton. 
For more than a hundred 3'ears it has been the 
resort of sportsmen and the scene of unbounded 
hospitality. Indeed, more than one hundred 
and fifty years ago it had an established repu- 
tation for generous hospitality, and there is a 
record in existence, dated 1734, which proves 

And His Times. 227 

it. It is a pamphlet entitled "A New Voyage 
to Georgia," written by a young English gen- 
tleman who had visited the Cape Fear settle- 
ment, and gave his impressions of it. It is 
published in the second volume of the "Georgia 
Historical Collections," and, as it describes 
several interesting localities, a full extract is 
here given from it. Coming by land, with 
thirteen others, along the coast from vSouth 
Carolina, this traveller says: 

We left Ivockwocd's Folly about eight the 
next morning, and by two reached the town of 
Brunswick, which is the chief town in Cape 
Fear, but with no more than two of the same 
horses which came with us out of South Caro- 
lina. We dined there that afternoon. Mr. 
Roger Moore, hearing w^e had come, was so 
kind as to send fresh horses for us to come up 
to his house, which we did and were kindly 
received by him, he being the chief gentleman 
in all Cape Fear. His house is built of brick, 
and exceedingly pleasantly situated about two 
miles from the town and about half a mile 
from the river, though there is a creek comes 
close up to the door, between two beautiful 
meadows about three miles length. He has a 
prospect of the town of Brunswick, and of 
another beautiful brick house, a building about 
half a mile from him, belonging to Eleazer 
Allen, Esq., late Speaker to the Commons 

2 28 A Colonial Officer 

House of Assembl}^ in the province of South 

There were several vessels lying before the 
town of Brunswick, but I shall forbear giving 
a description of that place; yet, on the 20th of 
June we left Mr. Roger Moore's, accompanied 
by his brother, Nathaniel Moore, Esq., to a 
plantation of his up the Northwest branch of 
Cape Fear river. The river is wonderfuU}' 
pleasant, being next to Savannah, the finest 
on all the continent. 

We reached the Forks, as the3' call it, that 
same night, where the river divides into two 
ver}^ beautiful branches called the Northeast 
and Northwest, passing by several pretty plan- 
tations on both sides. We lodged that night 
at one Mr. Jehu Davis's, and the next morn- 
ing proceeded up the Northwest branch; when 
we got about two miles from thence we came 
to a beautiful plantation belonging to Captain 
Gabriel,'" who is a great merchant there, where 
were two ships, two sloops and a brigantine 
loading with lumber for the West Indies: it 
is about twenty-two miles from the bar. When 
we came about four miles higher up we saw 
an opening on the Northwest side of us which 
is called Black River, on which there is a great 
deal of very good meadow land, but there is 
not au}^ one settled on it. 

The next night we came to another planta- 
tion belonging to Mr. Roger Moore, called the 

*This name was Gabourell. 

And His Timk.s. 229 

Blue Banks, where he is going- to build another 
very large brick house. This bluff is at least 
one hundred feet high, and has a beautiful 
prospect over a fine, large meadow on the op- 
posite side of the river; the houses are all 
built on the west side of the river, it being for 
the most part high champaign land ; the other 
side is very much subject to overflow, but I 
cannot learn the}^ have lost but one crop. I 
am creditably informed they have very com- 
monly four-score bushels of corn on an acre of 
their overflowed land. It very rarely overflows 
but in the winter time when their crop is off. 
I must confess that I saw the finest corn grow- 
ing there that ever I saw in my life, as like- 
wise wheat and hemp. We lodged there that 
night at one Captain Gibbs's, adjoining to Mr. 
^loore's plantation, where we met with very 
ofood entertainment. The next mornino- we 
left his house and proceeded up the said river 
to a plantation belonging to Mr. John Davis, 
where we dined. 

The plantations on this river are all very 
much alike as to the situation; but there are 
many more improvements on some than on 
others; this house is built after the Dutch 
fashion, and made to front both ways on the 
river, and on the land he has a beautiful ave- 
nue cut through the woods for above two miles, 
which is a great addition to the house. We 
left his house about two in the afternoon, and 
the same evening reached Mr. Nathaniel 
Moore's plantation, which is reckoned forty 

230 A Colonial Officer 

miles from Brunswick. It is likewise a ver}' 
pleasant plantation on a bluff upwards of sixty 
feet high. 

He then describes — after saying that he had 
"not so much as seen one foot of bad land" 
since leaving Brunswick — a trip he took with 
IMr. Aloore and others to Waccamaw Lake, 
w^hich he said he had heard so much talk of 
and desired very much to see, and which, after 
seeing, he pronounces "the pleasantest place 
that I ever saw in my life." The number of 
deer, wild turke^^s, geese and ducks greatly 
astonished him, and he said they shot "suffi- 
cient to serve forty men, though there was but 
six of us." After staying a night at Newton 
(now Wilmington) in a hut, and then visiting 
Rocky Point, "which is the finest place in all 
Cape Fear," where he was entertained b}^ 
Colonel Maurice Moore, Captain Hyrne, John 
Swann, Esq., and others, he returned to Orton, 
and the next day left the Province b}- wa}" of 
Ivockwood's Folly, in regard to which place he 
records a sore disappointment, as follows: 

About two I arrived there with much diffi- 
culty, it being a very hot daj^ and myself very 
faint and weak, when I called for a dram, and, 
to my great sorrow, found not one drop of 
rum, sugar or lime juice in the house (a pretty 

And Hls Timks. 231 

place to sta}^ all night indeed), so was obliged 
tx) make nse of my own bottle of shrub, which 
made me resolve never to trust the conntrv 
again in a long journey. 

It thus appears that as earl}^ as 1734 there 
were comfortable and even elegant residences 
all along both branches of the Cape Fear for 
forty or fifty miles above Brunswick, and these 
w^ere multiplied continuall}^ afterwards. A 
handsome brick building, such as this traveller 
found at Orton, was a great rarity at that earl 3- 
period, and necessarily a ver}- costly one, as 
all the bricks were brought from Eugland. It 
was an expensive investment in which none 
but rich men could possibl}^ indulge. The 
status of the men who owned those on Cape 
Fear has been well described b}- one'" whose 
unequalled knowdedge of the "old times and 
men'' of that region well cpialified him for the 
task, and his description is here transcribed: 

They were no needy adventurers, driven by 
necessity — no unlettered boors ill at ease in 
the haunts of civilization, and seeking their 
proper sphere amidst the barbarism of the 
savages. The}' were gentlemen of birth and 
education, bred in the refinements of polished 
society, and bringing with them ample for- 

*Hon. George Davis. Chapel Hill Address, 1S55. 

232 A Colonial Officer 

tunes, gentle manners, and cultivated minds. 
Alost of them united b}- the ties of blood, and 
all b}^ those of friendship, the\' came as one 
household sufficient unto themselves, and 
reared their famih^ altars in love and peace. 
:•: :i: jf histor}' imuiortalizes those who, with 
the cannon and the bayonet, through blood 
and carnage, establish a d\'nast\' or found a 
state, sureU^ something more than mere ob- 
livion is due to those who, forsaking all that 
is attractive to the civilized mind, lead a colon^^ 
and plant it successfull}- in harmou}' and 
peace, amid the dangers of the wilderness and 
under the war-whoop of the savage. 

It was long after the stranger's visit in 1734, 
and after the death of these first settlers that 
the events which made Brunswick famous 
occurred, but the same characteristics marked 
their successors, who, as long as the old town 
lasted, maintained the reputation of the com- 
munity for a refined and generous hospitality. 

Memorable for some of the most dramatic 
scenes in the early history of North Carolina 
as the region around Brunswick was — being 
the theatre of the first open armed resistance 
to the Stamp Act on the 28th November, 1765, 
and not far from the spot where the first vic- 
tory of the Revolution crowned the American 
arms at Moore's Creek Bridge on the 27th 

And His Timp:s. 233 

Febriiaiy, 1776 — its historic interest was per- 
petuated when, nearly a century afterwards, 
its tall pines trembled and its sand-hills shook 
to the thunder of the most terrific artillery fire 
that has ever occurred since the invention of 
gunpowder, when Fort Fisher was captured 
in 1S65. Since then it has again relapsed 
into its former state, and the bastions and 
traverses and parapets of the whilom Fort 
Anderson are now clad in the same exuberant 
robe of green with which generous nature in 
that clime covers every neglected spot. And 
so the old and the new ruin stand side by side 
in mute attestation of the utter emptiness of 
all human ambition, while the Atlantic breeze 
sings gently amid the sighing pines, and the 
vines cling more closel}^ to the old church 
wall, and the lizard basks himself where the 
sunlight falls on a forgotten grave. 



The following correspondence between Gov- 
ernor Martin, Captain Parry and the people, 
at the beginning of the American Revolution, 
is copied from the original documents recently 
procured by the Secretary of State at Raleigh 
from England. It occurred, as the date shows, 
on the very day of the battle of Moore's Creek 
Bridge, 27th February, 1776, but probably 
before intelligence of that event reached Wil- 
mington. Cornelius Harnett was almost 
certainly the author of the letters on behalf of 
the people, and the calm courage which char- 
acterizes them, displayed as it was in the face 
of a threat to destroy the town, will send a 
thrill of admiration through every generous 
soul who reads them : 

To the Magistrates and Inliabitants 

of the Town of Wilmington : 

It is expected and hereby required that the 
Inhabitants of the Town of Wilmington do 
furnish for his Majestie's service One Thou- 
sand barrels of good flour on or before Satur- 
day next, being the second day of March, 
which will be paid for at Market price. 

Jo. Martin. 
Cruizer Sloop of War, 

Off W^ilmington, Feb. 27th, 1776. 

236 appendix. 

Cruizer, Wilmington River, 

Feb'y 2jih, 1776. 

His Majestie's ships not having received 
provisions agreeable to their regular Demands, 

I shall, as soon as possible, be off Wilming- 
ton with his Majestie's sloop Cruizer, and 
other armed vessels under my command to 
know the reason of their not being supplied. 

I expect to be supplied by six this Evening 
with the provisions I have now demanded of 
the contractor. 

If his Majestie's ships or Boats are in the 
least annoyed it will be my duty to oppose it. 

Fran'vS Parry. 

To the Magistrates and Inhabitants of Wil- 

The Inhabitants of Wilmington, by their 
representatives in Committee, in answer to 
your Kxcellencie's demand of One Thousand 
Barrels of flour for his Majestie's service, beg 
leave to assure your Excellency that they have 
been always most cordially disposed to promote 
his Majestie's real service, which the^- think 
consistent only with the good of the whole 
British empire. But the inhabitants are aston- 
ished at the quantum of your Kxcellencie's 
requisition, as they cannot conceive what ser- 
vice his IMajesty has in this part of the world 
for so much flour. In the most quiet and 
peaceable Times, when the Ports were open 
and Trade flourished, it would have been im- 


possible to procure such a quantit}- in the 
Town in so short a time as your Excellency 
mentions. How then can 3'our Excellency 
expect a compliance from the Inliabitants of 
Wilmington during the present stagnation of 
Commerce? At a time, too, when ^^ou well 
know that an arni}^ raised and commissioned 
by your Excellency hath been for some time 
possessed of Cross Creek and the adjacent 
country from whence only we can expect the 
Article ^^ou have thought to Demand. 

We can wntli Truth assure your Excellency 
that it is not in our power to comply with 
your requisition, either in whole or in part, 
many of the Inhabitants having for some time 
passed wanted flour for private use, and the 
dread of Militar\' Execution by the ships of 
War hath induced most of the Inhabitants to 
remove their effects. The Inhabitants, Sir, 
sincerely wish they had not reason to expect 
that your Excellency's Demand is onl}- a pre- 
lude to the intended destruction of the devoted 
Town of Wilmington. 

If this should be the case, it will not, how- 
ever, make any alteration in their determina- 
tion. It will be their dut}^ to defend their 
propert}' to the utmost, and if they do not suc- 
ceed altogether to their wish, they have one 
consolation left, that tlieir friends wnll, in a 
few days, have it in their power to make ample 
retribution upon those whom your Excellence- 
thinks proper to dignify with the epithets of 
friends to Government. These faithless and 


selfish people are now surrounded by three 
armies above four times their Number, and 
the Town of Cross Creek, now in our hands, 
will make some, tho' a very inadequate com- 
pensation for the destruction of Wilmington. 
This, Sir, is no boast, and we would not treat 
your Excellenc}^ with so much disrespect as 
to make use of Threats. The Acco't we have 
given 3'ou is sacredly true, and we have the 
most convincing proof of it in our possession. 

I have the honor to be, by order of the Com- 

Sir, Your Hxcellencj^'s most Obt Serv't. 

Wilmington, 27th Feb'y, 1776. 

The reasons why his Majestie's ships have 
not been supplied with the usual quantity of 
provisions is so obvious that it cannot possibly 
have escaped the sagacity of Captain Parry. 
The trade of this colony hath been distressed 
by the King's ships, even contrary" to the Acts 
of the British Parliament. The Military stores, 
the property of the People, have been seized 
with an avowed Intention to subjugate them 
to slavery. The fort which the People had 
built at a great Expence for the protection of 
their Trade made use of for a purpose the very 
reverse, and when they attempted to demolish 
it they have been fired upon by the ships of 

The slaves of the American Inhabitants have 
been pursued and many of them seized and 


inveitrled from their duty, and their live stock 
and other property killed and plundered, long 
before the Committee thought it necessary to 
deny the ships a supply of provisions; and to 
CroWn all you. Sir, for the Second Time have 
brought up the Cruizer and several Armed 
Vessels to cover the landing of an army Com- 
posed of highland banditti, most of whom are 
as destitute of Property as they are of Princi- 
ple, and none of whom you will ever see, unless 
as fugitives imploring protection. 

Tho' you should come up before the Town 
you cannot expect any other answer than what 
we now give you. 

We have not the least intention of opposnig 
either your ships or Boats, unless you should 
attempt to injure us, and whenever you may 
think proper to treat the Inhabitants as his 
Majestie's officers did heretofore, we shall be 
happy to receive you in the manner which we 
always wish to receive those who have the 
honor to bear His Majestie's commission. 

I am, by Order of the Committee, 

Sir, Your Obt Servt. 

To Capt. Parry. 

To the Magistrates and Inhabitants 

of the Town of Wilmington : 

I have been much surprised to receive an 
answer to my requisition directed to The 
Magistrates and Inhabitants of Wilmington, 
from a member of the lawfull Magistracy m 


the name and under the Traitorous Guize of a 
Combination unknown to the laws and Con- 
stitution of this Country, as if the Magistrates 
and Inhabitants of Wilmington chose rather 
to appear in the Garb of Rebellion than in the 
character of his Majestie's lo3'al and faithful 

The quantity of flour that I required for his 
Majestie's service, I concluded, from the in- 
formation I had received, that the Town of 
Wilmington might have well supplied within 
the Time I appointed by my Note, and I should 
have been contented with the quantit}^ that 
was obtainable. The requisition was not made, 
as the answer to it imports, for a prelude to 
the destruction of that Town, which has not 
been in contemplation, but was intended as a 
Test of the disposition of the Inhabitants, 
whose sence, I am unwilling to believe, is 
known to the little arbitrary Junto (stiling 
itself a Committee) which has presumed to 
answer for the People in this and other In- 

The revilings of Rebellion and the Gascon- 
adings of Rebels are below the contempt of the 
loyal and faithful People whom I have most 
justly stiled Friends of Government, and the 
forbearance of menaces I have little reason to 
consider as a mark of Respect from the Chair- 
man of a Combination founded in usurpation 
and Rebellion. 

Jo. Martin. 



The Committee of Wilmington have not 
only been chosen b}^ the people, bnt on the 
present occasion these very people (consisting 
of the freeholders) have been consulted on the 
propriety- of their answer. That Committees 
are unknown to the Constitution, let those who 
have driven the people to that dreadfull neces- 
sit}^ account for. 

I mav venture to assure your Hxcellenc}' 
that the greater part of the People in arms 
against the Inhabitants of this country are, in 
the opinion of every gentleman and man of 
understanding, unworthy to be considered as 
respectable members of Society. That there 
mav be some of them of a better sort embarked 
in a cause which, right or wrong, does them 
little honor, is a Circumstance for which it is 
easy to account. 

The Inhabitants of this Town are extremely 
pleased to find that his Majestie's service is 
not in an}' immediate want of the flour which 
your Excellenc}- thought proper to require, as 
it is impossible for them to comply even in 
part. Whoever was your Excellencie's inform- 
ant that the Town of Wilmington could now, 
or at any other period, procure so large a quan- 
tity in so short a time, has grossly deceived 
3^0 u. 

The conduct of the Inhabitants of this Town 
is well known to your Excellency, and you 
might have been long since assured that there 
did not want any new Proof of their zeal for 


his Majestie's service on the one hand, or a 
firm attachment to their Liberties on the other. 
And whilst they are conscions of no Acts bnt 
those which tended to assert the rights of God 
and natnre, they have reason to believe that 
they do not deserve the epithets of rebels and 
traitors with which yonr Excellency hath so 
liberally loaded them. 

Time alone mnst convince 3'onr Excellency 
that the committee cannot, for any interested 
purposes, descend to convc}^ an untruth which 
candor would be ashamed of 

To the Magistrates and Inhabitants of Wil- 

As I am informed it is inconvenient to sup- 
ply his Majestie's Sloop Cruizer with salt 
provisions, must beg you will send a few quar- 
ters of good beef. 

Fran's Parry. 
Cruizer, Wilmington River, 

Feb'y 28th, 1776.